Veterans Council to bring back moving Vietnam Wall

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Veterans Council announced Tuesday plans to bring the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall back to the state capitol.

The memorial wall was previously displayed at the capitol in 2005 and will make its way back in September.

In addition to the announcement, a Veterans Day ceremony took place at the capitol with a presentation of the colors, the singing of the national anthem, and a memorial firing and taps by V.F.W. Post 1003.

"In my mind if we forget the sacrifices that our veterans have made then we're done as a nation," Veterans Council President Don Hentges said. "I mean it's our job to teach our young people that the sacrifices that veterans have made and that freedom is not free."

The wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Wall that stands in Washington, D.C. Members of the council hope to attract more than 20,000 visitors to view the memorial during its time at the capitol.

"Today is the official kickoff and we will start all the planning," Hentges said. "We will be raising money, soliciting businesses to get the money to bring the wall in and also the many expenses we have to put it on."

The total cost of the venture could be as much as $18,000.

"To bring the wall in itself is $5,000 and then we have lighting, computers to look up information for people who are looking for certain veterans, we need food to feed the volunteers, we need fuel to run the generators, all in all we expect our expenses to be between $16,000 and $18,000," Hentges said.

An opening ceremony for the memorial wall is tentatively set for Sept. 24, 2015.

James "Ed" Smith, far right, stands at attention at the Veterans Day ceremony in Jefferson City, Missouri. The Veterans of Foreign Wars 1003 Honor Guard joined Smith for a commemorative 21-gun salute to honor veterans at the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. (KOMU/Madeleine Ptacin)

President of the Veterans Council Don Hentges speaks about his experiences serving in the Vietnam War during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City, Missouri, on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. Hentges said approximately 200 volunteers will be needed to install the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall on the south lawn of the Missouri State Capitol. (KOMU/Madeleine Ptacin)