Vietnam Wall Moves All

Monday, April 24, 2017

We hope everyone who can will take the opportunity to visit the Vietnam “Moving Wall” at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds June 15-19.

As Cherokee County Veteran Affairs Director Dana Evans and local veterans work to raise the funds needed to bring the wall here, donations are needed and accepted at Veterans Affairs, 228 1/2 W. Main St., Cherokee, Iowa 51012.

The impressive wall is a marvelous undertaking and a poignant reminder of the many valiant men and women who gave their lives for their country.

There is a touching song written and sung several years ago by Jamie O’Hara titled “50,000 Names” and its emotional lyrics describe O’Hara’s visit to the original Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. :

“There’s teddy bears and high school rings,

and old photographs that mamas bring

of daddies with their young boys playin’ ball.

There’s combat boots he used to wear

when he was sent over there,

and there’s 50,000 names carved in the wall.

There’s cigarettes and cans of beer,

and notes that say I miss you dear,

and children who don’t say anything at all.

There’s purple hearts and packs of gum,

fatherless daughters and fatherless sons,

and there’s 50,000 names carved in the wall.

They come from all across the land,

in pick-up trucks and mini vans,

searchin’ for a boy from long ago.

They scan the wall and find his name,

the teardrops fall like pourin’ rain,

then silently they leave a gift and go.

There’s stars of David and rosary beads,

and crucifixion figurines,

and flowers of all colors large and small.

There’s a Boy Scout badge and a merit pin,

little American flags wavin’ in the wind,

and there’s 50,000 names carved in the wall.

50,000 names carved in the wall.”

That’s powerful stuff, folks. We applaud the local veterans’ efforts to bring the “Moving Wall” to Cherokee, affording us the opportunity to think about, appreciate, and never forget all of our war veterans and their ultimate sacrifice.