A traveling Vietnam War Memorial is making stops in Central New York this week. Hundreds gathered at the Phoenix Memorial VFW post on Wednesday afternoon to watch the arrival of the memorial. It made an appearance today before traveling to Mexico Wednesday evening.
Mexico??s VFW Commander Russ Marsden has been working for more than a year to bring the memorial to the area so that those who lost their lives are remembered. ??The biggest casualty would be if they were ever to be forgotten,?? Marsden said. ??And that wall, coming into Mexico, may ensure that they??ll be remembered a little longer.??
Those in Phoenix were honored to have the wall in town, even for such a short period of time. ??I think it??s a fantastic opportunity, not only for the Vietnam veterans to get together and see the wall, but for veterans of all conflicts to come together,?? said Vietnam Veteran Richard Madden.
For some veterans, the memorial brings back a flood of memories. ??It??s a heart-wrenching feeling,?? said veteran Paul Gorman. ??It just tears you apart at first. And then you walk away with a better feeling of it all. I hope this is what we??re going to accomplish in Mexico, New York.??
The wall is being formally set up in Mexico on Thursday morning, with a ceremony to follow in the evening. It was remain in Mexico until Sunday evening at 6pm. The community and veterans can visit the memorial 24 hours a day.