Coral Springs to host Vietnam wall replica this month

A replica of the Vietnam Veterans wall is coming to Broward County.

The Moving Wall, a half-size version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be on public display 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 22-25 at the Sportsplex at Coral Springs, 2575 Sportsplex Drive.

“This is to honor every one of them that served, especially those on the wall who didn’t come back,” said Coral Springs Commissioner Lou Cimaglia Jr., who started the campaign to bring the wall to the city last year before he was elected to office.

“It’s emotional,” Cimaglia said. To make the viewing somber, there will be no food sold nearby. “It’s just to remember and pay homage to the 58,000 troops we lost.”

Last year Cimaglia organized a committee of more than 30 people — former politicians, veterans and citizens — who helped raise the $5,000 needed to have the wall sent to the city via truck.

They also raised another $10,000 for additional expenses, such as police escorts, T-shirts for volunteers, portable toilets, brochures, lighting of the wall — and reams of paper for people to rub the names of loved ones for a keepsake. All the names are there, just on a smaller scale.

Home Depot donated lumber to build the wall’s base, and loaned the committee the plants for landscaping. There will be a ceremony each night at 6 p.m. with the national anthem and a different speaker recounting the horror of that chapter of history.

“They’ll explain the things they [saw] there,” Cimaglia said. “Each one has a different story to tell.”

From Coral Springs, the wall will travel on to Mississippi, then on to Tennessee and Wisconsin. The Michigan-based project is one of several replica walls that travel the United States. or 954-572-2008

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