The moving wall in Somerville through Monday – NBC Boston

A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC is in the Boston area this Veterans Day weekend.

“The Moving Wall” is half the size of the memorial below in Washington, but like the original memorial, it features the names of more than 58,000 American soldiers who died in the Vietnam War. It has toured cities and towns across the country for nearly 40 years, but this is its first stop in Somerville, Massachusetts.

It’s an opportunity for those who haven’t been able to see the real one in person to pay their respects. The general public is welcome to visit at any time, and volunteers will be on site 24 hours a day to help visitors find names and rub names with crayons.

Visiting the Moving Wall is an emotional experience for many. A woman speaking to NBC10 Boston on Sunday said she didn’t know anyone whose name was posted on the wall, but she burst into tears just looking at all the names.

“It’s heartbreaking as I’m crying right now. I think the younger generation doesn’t understand what these vets went through,” said Natalie Dagostino from Brighton. “Showing respect to these fallen heroes is just something special, and they come to the Boston area when a few people can. They don’t have to travel the distance to see the wall, they can see it now.”

The Moving Wall is over 252 feet long from end to end and 6 feet tall at its highest point in the middle. It has 74 separate frames to display the tens of thousands of names. It will be installed at Mass General Brigham Great Lawn on Assembly Row in Somerville for five days, November 10-14.

“We are honored to host The Moving Wall in Somerville for the first time this year,” Mayor Katjana Ballantyne said in a press release posted on the city’s website announcing the visit to the memorial. “This is a way to pay our respects to our military members, past and present, and families, and to provide a new understanding of American history for our younger generations.”

“Visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in person is often a profound, emotional experience, and I am grateful to everyone who worked so hard to bring this opportunity to our community,” the mayor added. “I hope it brings healing to the veterans and their loved ones in Somerville and beyond.”

According to the press release, the Somerville Department of Veterans’ Services was working to bring the memorial to town to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice while giving many in the community an opportunity they might never otherwise have .

“This memorial commemorates the great sacrifices made during the Vietnam War. It’s especially poignant because it gives the people in our local communities an opportunity to show their respect – especially those who are physically or financially unable to make the journey to DC,” said Dr. Gregg Meyer, President of the Mass General Brigham Community Division and former United States Air Force Colonel. “As a leader in our community and as an organization dedicated to the healing, support and employment of our veterans, we at Mass General Brigham are honored to host this important honor.”

Ted Louis-Jacques, director of Veterans’ Services, called it a unique opportunity for people to pay their respects to Somerville Vietnam War veterans.

About Cindy Johnson

Check Also

Local men killed in Vietnam holding signs near Kinsman House | News, Sports, Jobs

Staff Photo / Allie Vugrincic Jim Valesky, President of the Warren Heritage …