It started with a question posed by Elmore Mayor Lowell Krumnow: Why hasn’t The Moving Wall ever come to the Elmore area?
Ron Distel, the man to whom the mayor posed the question, usually has a full plate of veteran-related projects and issues to keep him busy – he being the adjutant of American Legion Post 279 and a former post commander as well as a member of the Ottawa County Veterans Service Commission.
But the wall, a half-size replica of Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., hadn’t been to the Toledo area for several years, Distel reasoned, so why not arrange to have it come to Elmore.
Following a recent informational meeting attended by about 35 residents, planners last week confirmed the wall has been scheduled for a week-long stay in the village this August at Depot Park.
|Workers unload panels of The Moving Wall, scheduled for
public display from April 16 to November. Elmore American
Legion Post 279 hosts the wall for a week in August.
Distel said the wall is scheduled to arrive on Aug. 8 and set-up is planned for the next morning. The wall will be open to the public for free viewing until Aug. 14.
“It’s definitely confirmed,” he said last week. “Now we’re working on all the preparations.”
Organizers of the visit plan to raise $7,500 to cover related costs, including $4,500 to pay for lodging and expenses of the driver and his wife who transport the wall.
Even with volunteer help, Distel estimates it will cost about $2,500 to prepare a foundation for the 254-foot wall, landscaping and related costs.
Donations of $250, $500, and $750 will receive mention in program brochures planned for each day of the visit. Posters of donors names will also be displayed at the site.
Distel, an Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam from 1970-71, estimates the wall could draw 10,000-15,000 visitors from throughout northwest Ohio.
Persons interested in volunteering for the visit are invited to a meeting Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Elmore Historical Society barn.
In addition to the site preparation and assembly, volunteers will be needed to help with directing visitors who wish to view specific names on the wall, Distel said, adding the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women are arranged in the order of their reported deaths.
The panels are made of coated aluminum to resemble the slate panels in the actual memorial, he said.
Donations should be sent to the American Legion Post 279, 2010 S. Nissen Road, Elmore.
For information about the planned visit, Distel can be reached at 419 862-2344.
The Moving Wall was originated by Vietnam Combat Veterans, Ltd. and has been touring the country for more than 20 years, according to the organization’s website.