Gifts are left at moving wall - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gifts are left at moving wall

May 7, 2006

Albany -- It happens at the real Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC all the time. People leave behind gifts as a tribute to loved ones lost, anything from hats, pictures, even a motorcycle. All the items get displayed in a museum.

The moving wall memorial that was in Albany is no exception. Each gift left behind at the moving wall has a special story to tell.

A rose and a note left for Thomas Spillers. A picture of Captain Dwight Thornton with Vietnamese children.

"Here this is in memory of some members of the officers of candidate school, which they're training to be officers. These were five members that were killed," said veteran Paul Murray.

People left these little things behind when visiting the moving wall for loved ones who impacted their lives.

"It's very emotional to see this when they are placed at the wall, and to them this is no different than the one in Washington, DC," said Murray.

For veterans like Paul Murray seeing the names of old friends brings back memories overseas and in the barracks, which is why one veteran brought this gift for his comrade.

"The biggest access they had was beer over there in Vietnam, to celebrate a completed mission and celebrate coming back alive," said Murray.

Gifts are left behind in every city the moving wall visits. Organizers plan to preserve these memories.

"They plan to eventually build a museum to display all those items sometime in the future," said Marvin Vixon.

The moving wall had only a short stay in Albany. It gave many south Georgians a time to remember the sacrifices of war. And reflect upon memories never forgotten.

More than 1500 people came out to the moving wall during its four-day stay in Albany. It was taken down tonight at six o'clock Sunday night and will next be on display in Douglass.

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