GOODYEAR, Ariz. — A half-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be on display until Monday at the Starpointe Residents Club in Goodyear.
The Moving Wall was escorted to the area near Elliot and Estrella Parkway Thursday morning by the Patriot Guard Riders. It was an emotional morning for Vietnam veteran Ed Blanchard. The wall has his friend’s name on it.
“We graduated from high school together,” he said. “I could tell you more but it’s just emotional everytime I see this wall.”
The traveling wall is 250 feet in length and was designed to honor the 2.7 million men and women who served in the U.S. military in Vietnam. As of January 2014, the wall contains 58,283 names — 1,300 of those are still classified as prisoners of war (POWs) and missing in action (MIA). It takes 66 hours to read every name on the wall and volunteers will be reciting these names over a loudspeaker system 24 hours a day while the wall is on display.
A series of ceremonies will be held, including the opening ceremony Thursday at 9 a.m., a POW/MIA remembrance and candlelight vigil Friday at 6 p.m., a Sunday sunrise prayer service at 6:30 a.m. and the closing ceremony Monday at 9 a.m.