“Moving Wall” Vietnam Memorial Arrives in Anchorage
Replica of Washington monument will stay until July 2
ANCHORAGE - Honoring the fallen… The Moving Wall that displays the name of every person who died or went missing during the Vietnam War has made its way back to Anchorage to also give Alaskans the chance to honor their own.
The Moving Wall memorial is designed to give people an up close and personal look at those who gave their lives for our country. This year Alaskans will get to be remembered also, as a group of determined individuals braved the rain to make sure the Moving Wall was up and visible for all of Anchorage to see.
Focused on honoring their own, for a group of Alaskans, the job was pretty simple: making sure the wall they put up stands so all can see it and remember the 58,195 names of soldiers who died in the Vietnam War.
“We are out here in the rain just doing what we got to do,” said volunteer Mark Kaminski, who is a military veteran. “Just to remember what people have sacrificed to give us the right to be out here and honor them is for me an honor.”
It’s a sacrifice the Anchorage South Rotary took seriously. It hosted the Moving Wall, which has traveled the country for over 20 years to give people the chance to see a replica of the memorial that stands in Washington D.C.
“Our veterans and our veterans of foreign wars are definitely the people that stepped up to the line and quite a few of them paid the price,” said Anchorage South rotary member Dr. Mark Mitchell. “It’s amazing how fast this thing can go up, go down and go to another site around the state.”
It was a powerful experience for Vietnam veteran Tom Becka to not only help get it up, but to make sure those with whom he served are not forgotten. “It’s kind of a long time coming, but it’s nice to look back and remember what went on there and not regret what happened,” said Becka.
It’s an appreciation for those who gave up the ultimate sacrifice: a price Becka says can be honored simply by saying thank you. “If you have loved ones or friends or relatives, to come and share just a quiet moment with someone that has passed during the Vietnam conflict is well worth it.”
The Moving Wall, which is on Ninth and I Street on the park strip, will be up from now till July 2 for all to see. On June 30 there will be a ceremony, which will include a reading of the 58 names of Alaskans who died in the Vietnam War, as well as 28 Alaskans who died in the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Grenada.