Originally created 04/29/00

Memorial stops in Barnwell



BARNWELL -- Diane Moore hasn't seen her father since she was 11 years old -- when he went to serve in the Vietnam War.

Today she will touch his name and honor the sacrifice he made for his country at the Moving Wall at Barnwell County Airport.

Beginning at 11 a.m., the replica of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington will be open day and night until Friday. At almost 253 feet long, the memorial holds tribute to almost 60,000 Americans who served in Vietnam. Approximately 1,300 of those listed are still unaccounted for -- either as prisoners of war or missing in action.

Ed Knight, vice president of Barnwell Chapter Vietnam Veterans Association said it is called "The Wall that Heals."

"It will bring back rough memories, and there will probably be a lot of crying -- but it will give them some kind of closure," he said. "We'll have some veterans who can't go up to it. It's been some 30 years, and they still can't go up to it."

The monument is one of three moving walls that travel around the country so family and friends of veterans lost in Vietnam can experience it without traveling to the capital. Each of the memorials travel 11' months out of the year.

Truck driver John Roxey, who serves as keeper of the monument, arrived from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. After a week in South Carolina, he will reverently transport the monument to Cleveland, Ohio.

"This wall is me," he said. "This is who I am."

As a Vietnam veteran himself, he considers the monument a shrine. "I tell people once the first two panels are up, it becomes hallowed ground.

"However you act in church is how you act in front of this wall."

Mr. Roxey said there should be no smoking, no drinking, no food and no pets in front of the monument.

Scheduled events

The following is a schedule of programs to be held at the Moving Wall in Barnwell this week. All evening devotions will be followed by TAPS:

Today

11 a.m. Opening Ceremonies

7:30 p.m. Evening program

Sunday

11 a.m. Sunday service

2 p.m. Music program

7 p.m. Evening program

Monday

7:30 p.m. Evening program

Tuesday

Candlelight induction of VVA Chapter 544 officers

7:30 p.m. Music of the Era

Wednesday

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. JROTC Day

7:30 p.m. Missing Men Ceremony and candlelight service

Thursday

7:30 p.m. Balloon launch and farewell ceremony

Reach Lisa Lohr at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.