Board considers joining effort to bring traveling Vietnam memorial to Susanville
The Lassen County Board of Supervisors will discuss the effort to bring The Moving Wall here at its meeting this morning, Tuesday, Nov. 14.
Mike Cornelison, a Navy veteran and the Family Life Pastor of Susanville Church of the Nazarene, is spearheading the drive, which “normally requires months of planning by dozens of local volunteers,” according to the Web site themovingwall.org.
District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman told the board in October about Cornelison’s efforts to bring the traveling wall to Susanville in 2007 or 2008.
“There’s a lot of lead time and a lot of logistics involved in that and it requires a lot of cooperation and support as well as some dollars,” Chapman said, asking the board to set a specific time for Cornelison to present his plan at this morning’s meeting.
Chapman said Cornelison will outline what the county can do to be a part of the effort and get the word out to the community.
“It’s not something you just automatically do,” Chapman said. “You have to get on the circuit and you have to be within close proximity because of the cost of traveling and transportation.”
The traveling memorial has been touring the country for almost 20 years, according to the Web site.
“When John Devitt attended the 1982 dedication in Washington, he felt the positive power of "The Wall." He vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington,” it said.
“John, Norris Shears, Gerry Haver, and other Vietnam veteran volunteers built The Moving Wall. It went on display for the first time in Tyler, Texas in October of 1984. Two structures of The Moving Wall now travel the USA from April through November, spending about a week at each site.”
Any group, organization or individual willing to do the work and make the local arrangements may sponsor The Moving Wall to visit an area. Cornelison’s group is called the Let Us Remember Committee.
“Sponsors are frequently civic groups, schools, or veterans' organizations,” the Web site said.
“The Moving Wall is not a generic name for any of the traveling replicas that copied The Moving Wall, but is a name that was given specifically to the nation's first and only traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial during its fourth display back in February 1985,” the Web site said.
“The first visitors to this, the nation’s first memorial designed and built to be brought to the people, were ‘moved beyond words’ from their experiences at The Moving Wall.
“Many expressed their thankfulness that absolutely nothing was expected of visitors to The Moving Wall. There was nothing for sale, no solicitations for money, and no advertising. They found only the names on the wall, and the memories visitors brought with them. The Moving Wall is the only traveling Vietnam veterans’ memorial that was actually designed and physically built by Vietnam veterans with public donations.”
Cornelison applied to the Memorial Fund of VCV, Ltd. to be put on a list of communities to be considered for available dates when the upcoming schedule is compiled.
“Because of the vast number of requests for the Moving Wall, sending in the completed application doesn't guarantee an available date, but not sending in the application guarantees you won’t get a date,” the Web site said.
Applications are also judged based on climate, proximity to other applicants and reasons for requesting a specific date.
Cornelison’s application placed Susanville on a list of applicants for the 2007 schedule. Since available display dates are limited, if a community does not receive a date in 2007, it is automatically transferred to the 2008 list, according to the Web site.
The board is scheduled to receive Cornelison’s presentation at 10:45 a.m. today, Tuesday, Nov. 14.
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