UPDATE: Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall Visit Wraps Up

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UPDATE 9/1/2014 4:50 PM

It's the final day of the long holiday weekend.

It's also the final day of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall's visit to Parkersburg.

And organizers tell us it's an even bigger success than the wall's last visit three years ago.

It's estimated, by the time the wall is taken down Tuesday morning, 7,000 people will have visited the display in its six days at City Park.

If you haven't visited the wall yet, you still have time.

Organizers say it will be open to visitors until workers start taking it down at 8:00 Tuesday morning.

UPDATE 8/29/2014 4:55 PM

A tribute to those who gave their lives in Vietnam.

It's traveling around the country

The Memorial Wall is in Parkersburg until Monday.

It's drawing community members of all ages - including those who served.

Vets say they left their families, girlfriends and innocence behind.

Those who lived through the war say they came back different people, and it wasn't a warm welcome.

Local vets say the Memorial Wall at City Park has showed them how things have changed.

Friday, McKinley Elementary students came out to the wall.

Vets say the kids made them feel appreciated.

"I always thought we was doing the right thing, and I come back and find out maybe we wasn't. But as I go on now, I still think we was doing the right thing," says Corporal Ron Murray.

"Two of my friends, two girls, walked me through last night. By the end I had tears. And, they helped me out because it's heart wrenching to know that this is all your brothers. Cause that's what we all was, I think," says Corporal Terry Barnett.

More than 1,800 military members are still missing - a point of sadness for Barnett.

The wall has the names of those who died.

He says those who were never found deserve recognition as well.

Vets do say seeing the community pay their respects helps them move on.

UPDATE 8/28/2014 4:50 PM

If you haven't visited the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall at City Park, there's still plenty of time.

We talked to a veteran Thursday who is helping out with finding the names, and this memorial really touches home for him.

"Each one of these guys have sacrificed their life in one way or another. It's a good thing to at least look at it, keep the history going...what Vietnam war was about, and learn the history of the war so we don't do these mistakes again," says John Danielski,

Opening ceremonies were Thursday night.

There are volunteers at the wall around the clock who can assist in locating names on the wall.

UPDATE 8/27/2014 4:10 PM

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is in Parkersburg's City Park.

It arrived Tuesday behind hundreds of motorcycles, including the Patriot Guard.

The wall is a three-fifths replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

The wall travels the country and was last here in 2011.

Wednesday morning, community members came to help set it up.

That includes veterans, local football players and community members, all volunteering.

Starting with the base, they laid the rails, carefully connecting everything together.

Then two people have to carry each piece of the wall.

The process takes around three hours.

Those helping say it is an honor to be able to put it together.

The wall will be here until Tuesday.

Everyone is welcome to come out and see it.

There will be people at the wall at all time for security reasons.

People can come, check in and volunteers can help you find a name.

There are two big ceremonies this week.

They are Thursday night at 6 and Sunday night at 4.

On Thursday night, the United States Air Force Honor Guard and Drill Team out of Washington, D.C. will be in Parkersburg.

UPDATE 8/27/2014 11:05 AM

A roaring welcome Tuesday afternoon, as the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall makes its way back into Parkersburg.

Hundreds of motorcycles, including the Patriot Guard lead the way for the traveling wall on its journey to City Park.

The wall is a three-fifths replica of the memorial wall in D.C. and travels the country.

It made its first appearance in Parkersburg back in 2011 and was a huge success.

Organizers say this time around they expect an even larger turnout.

"The real emotion starts when people start coming out. Because there's a lot of Vietnam veterans that are seeing this for the very first time. They've never been to Washington or seen any of the other walls and it can be quite hard on them," says Greg Welsh, traveling wall manager.

The wall building started at 8:00 Wednesday morning with the help of the four high school football teams in Wood County.

The opening ceremony is Thursday evening and it will be here through Labor Day weekend.

UPDATE 8/25/2014 4:55 PM

A poignant reminder about the sacrifices made by Vietnam veterans.

The traveling wall comes to town Tuesday.

58,000 names are listed on the wall and 26 of those are from Wood County.

The memorial wall will arrive Tuesday night at 5, escorted by the Patriot Guard and 370 memorial riders.

The wall is a great way to pay your respects to the ones who paid the ultimate price in the war.

"It gives teachers, it gives people and adults, it gives veterans a chance to teach other, other people that are coming up, how valuable it is to serve our country and what that patriotic pride means," says Greg Smith, with the Vietnam Traveling Wall Committee. "We've had a lot of donations that provided different type of sponsors, we have had people that have volunteered to help make the wall happen and that is why it's so important. It shows how proud we are to be patriots in this community."

The official opening ceremonies will be on Thursday at 6 p.m. at City Park.

UPDATE 7/18/2014 12:00 PM

Preparations are well underway for the second visit in four years of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to Parkersburg.

A local committee of veterans and volunteers, headed by VFW Vienna Post Commander Greg Smith, is making arrangements for the visit.

That includes funding for the wall's travel to the area.

The replica of the Washington, D.C. landmark will be at Parkersburg City Park throughout the Labor Day weekend.

The wall will arrive Tuesday, August 26th, escorted by the Patriot Guard, and be set up Wednesday, the 27th.

A formal opening ceremony will be held that day as well.

The Memorial Wall will be available for visits through Monday, September 1, and leave City Park Tuesday, the 2nd.

A special non-denominational prayer service will take place Sunday evening, August 31st, beginning at 6:30.

A special monument returns to Parkersburg this Labor Day.

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will be back in town at City Park September 3-9.

The wall is a replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C. and travels all across the country.

Its last appearance in Parkersburg was back in 2011 and brought close to 7,000 visitors.

Once the wall arrives a huge procession and opening ceremony will follow.

Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell is looking forward to having the wall back for a visit.

"It's actually an honor to have it here. A lot of people were very respectful of the fact that we do bring it here and it drew about 7,000 people during the few days it was here last time. Very well received, people want to see it back and we're very honored to get it back here," he says.

Once the wall is set up it will remain open 24/7 and volunteers will be available to help locate names on the wall.

A meeting is being held Thursday at 6 p.m. at the city building for those interested in volunteering.

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