(photo caption: Anna Laugelle)

The Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall has relocated temporarily to Southern New Hampshire’s Green Space. The Wall, which arrived on Thursday, October 5, was ceremoniously welcomed by the SNHU community at 6 p.m. The Memorial Wall, which is an 80% scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., will be available for the SNHU community to observe until 3 p.m. on October 8.

The opening ceremony began with a musical performance put on by the Manchester Central High School choir. The ceremony continued with a number of speakers sharing their thoughts on the significance of the wall.

Senior Vice President, Strategy and University Chief of Staff Dr. William Zemp was introduced to the public and recognized for his leadership roles in the United States Army as well as various other contribution during his service.

“I am proud to be a veteran on a day like this,” said Zemp. “This Green Space is offered, for the time we are here, as a temporary hallowed ground and a respectful place where you can reconnect. Where you veterans, can teach us of what living for something greater than ourselves means.”

Jim Covatis, of the New Hampshire Chapter 41 Vietnam Veterans of America, also shared his thoughts on the importance of the wall. “We stand before this wall and look at the names of all of the lives that war took. Men and women, fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, each and every one.”

Recognized for their attendance were Gold Star Families that lost their loved ones in the war. Also among the crowd were Vietnam veterans that came to pay their respects to fellow soldiers.

Located in front of the wall is a field of flags to represent veterans from New Hampshire whose names were on the wall.

To conclude the evening, a commemorative wreath-laying ceremony was performed by the Chapter 41 Vietnam Veterans of America. Individuals at the event were encouraged to take time after the ceremony to get a closer look at the wall and acknowledge all of those who serviced and lost their lives to the Vietnam War.

“A proud soldier, sailor, airman or marine who went to war, who gave their lives, who will never again be seen,” said Covatis. “So we honor them with this wall of beauty with the names of all who did their duty.”

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