It’s disappointing, but necessary, organizers say — the Vietnam Moving Wall, a traveling veteran memorial that was scheduled to hit Enumclaw this August, has been cancelled.
Instead, this half-size replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be displayed on the Plateau in August 2021.
Enumclaw VFW Post 1949 made the announcement late May, saying in a press release that “the project is a major financial and workload undertaking, and [is] not feasible with the high degree of uncertainty caused by the pandemic.”
Keith Mathews , a member of the local VFW post, spent the last six years trying to secure an Enumclaw appearance for the popular attraction, which is more than 252 feet in length — nearly the length of a football field — six feet tall at its highest point, and bears the names of 58,228 Americans who died during the Vietnam War.
“It was an emotional decision. On one hand, I had people not wanting to cancel it because they weren’t sure they were going to be around to even be there next year,” Mathews said. “But after talking with the Mayor and Fire Chief and others, even other VFW members, it wasn’t worth the overall risk of holding it.”
Mathews said the organization behind the memorial wall was seeing other cancellations as well, so it was easier for the group to reschedule for next year.
Although bringing the Moving Wall to Enumclaw is being pushed back, the plan remains nearly exactly the same: the memorial will be set up on the grassy fields between the Sunrise and Southward elementary schools in order to have Mount Rainier as a backdrop.
The memorial expects to be open 24 hours a day, with lights and security at night and ceremonies every morning; veterans and their families are able to make special arraignments for visits by calling the local VFW post at 206-245-4226 or email@example.com.
There will also be a special presentation featuring local veterans who died in Vietnam: Donnie Barium, Gerald Steven Hansen, Larry Joe Malatesta, Jeffery Allan Schweikl, William Fred Soule, and Michael Allen Hawk.