The brave souls who dedicated their lives to fighting in the Vietnam War did not live an easy life.
In fact, many made the ultimate sacrifice while answering the call of duty. Those brave soldiers that died fighting in Vietnam are honored on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
However, there are many people who would like to honor the fallen, but cannot make the trip to D.C. Thanks to the efforts of Faith Scott at the War Memorial Civic Center in DeRidder, the local community will get the chance of a lifetime when The Moving Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial arrives for all to see on November 7-12.
The Moving Wall is a replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country for over 30 years. The Moving Wall is half the size of the Memorial Wall in D.C., and was built in 1984. It has since been to more than 1,300 cities across the United States.
There are currently 58,307 names on The Wall, 884 are from Louisiana including eight from Beauregard Parish.
“This is going to be huge for the whole community, we want everyone to come out and see the Wall when it comes,” Scott said. “We want everyone from all around to come visit the wall.” Scott emphasized that they would like any family members of the fallen soldiers to come see the wall as well. She hopes that this can give them a chance to see the wall and honor their fallen loved one.
Scott noted that she had been looking for something like this to bring to the community for awhile. A conversation with Police Juror Elvin “Doc” Holliday brought her attention to The Moving Wall. Both she and the War Memorial Civic Center Board loved the idea, and began working to make this appearance happen.
Scott initially wanted to bring the wall in for Memorial Day, however it had already been booked to be somewhere else. She then decided that it would be a great thing to bring to the community in honor of Veterans Day.
The wall will arrive on November 7 at 4 p.m. and will have a brief opening ceremony. The ceremony will involve a wreath laying, and presentation of colors.
The wall will be located at the ball field by the War Memorial Civic Center on 250 West Seventh Street in DeRidder and is open for anyone to visit 24 hours a day.
It should be noted that Beauregard Health Systems has asked people to not park in the physician’s parking lot nearby during the event.
There will be special hours for the War Memorial Civic Center during this time. The special hours go as follows:
November 7th 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
November 8th 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
November 9th 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
November 10th 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
November 11th 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Scott expressed that she has received a lot of help and support from the City of DeRidder, DeRidder Police Department, DeRidder Fire Department and Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Department already.
“We are super grateful for the City of DeRidder,” Scott said. “They helped us get the ball field ready. We’ve received a great deal of help from the DeRidder Police, BPSO, and The Fire Department as well. Since the Wall will be open 24/7. Officers will cover overnight security from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.”
Scott also stated that she is looking for more sponsors and volunteers for the event. Volunteers will work assigned shifts helping visitors find certain names on the wall, provide additional security, ensure the area is clean of trash, and ensure that the rules are being followed so that visitors have a great experience while visiting The Wall.
“There are people who may never get the chance to travel to Washington D.C. and see the Vietnam Memorial Wall,” Scott said. “This gives them the opportunity to honor those that gave their lives serving their country.”
This event will be free and open to the public. Those interested in sponsoring the or volunteering are asked to call 337-463-7212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.