MASSENA — The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will be making a stop in Massena in August.
The wall, which is being sponsored by the St. Lawrence Centre mall, will be on display from Aug. 13 to 17.
American Legion Riders of Post 925 in Norfolk and other interested groups will be meeting at the wall at 6 a.m. Aug. 13 in Saranac Lake and escorting it to Massena. Anyone interested in joining the escort to Massena can meet at 6 a.m. at the National Grid lot in Saranac Lake. The wall is expected to arrive at the mall between 8 and 9 a.m. that morning.
Mall General Manager Erica Leonard said she had been looking for different things they could do to show support for veterans. The mall is the site of the VA Outpatient Clinic for veterans.
“That was a big thing for me. I don’t think we do enough for veterans,” she said.
She had heard about the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall and decided to research bringing it to Massena.
“I reached out a year-and-a-half ago. I got on the schedule for this year,” Ms. Leonard said.
The wall will be set up in the parking lot in front of the food court doors. She said they’ll be putting out guidance on proper protocol because of COVID-19. There will be guidelines on safety aspects such as social distancing and wearing masks.
“They must wear a mask when they come to view the wall. If they want to take a picture, they can take the mask off temporarily as long as nobody is standing next to them. We’re going to do this smart so people can come and enjoy this,” she said.
Ms. Leonard said security is required around the wall 24 hours a day while it’s in Massena. Individuals can volunteer to do some of that security duty. Otherwise, paid security will need to be hired.
“I do screen them a little bit. The majority of the people who want to do it are veterans, people from the motorcycle club and veterans’ clubs,” she said.
Donations would be welcomed to help cover some of the expenses of bringing the wall to Massena. For more information, contact Ms. Leonard at 315-764-1001, ext. 3.
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is part of the Vietnam and All Veterans of Brevard, a nonprofit organization that was formed and incorporated in December 1985 in Brevard County, Florida.
The wall is a 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It stands 6 feet tall at the center and covers almost 300 feet from end to end.
More information about the wall can be found at www.travelingwall.us/.