Two military veterans came to Tuesday’s meeting of the Montgomery County Legislature to ask for support in their effort to bring a traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall to the campus of Fulton-Montgomery Community College in September 2016.
Dan Towne, faculty advisor to the FMCC Veterans Club, and Gary Thompson told legislators that they want to raise $10,000 to bring the memorial to the campus. They estimated the actual cost to be about $7,500; any additional money would be donated to local veterans organizations. The plan is for the memorial to arrive on campus Sept. 7, 2016, be open for public viewing–at no charge– from Sept. 8-11 and taken down Sept.12, Towne said.
“The [Vietnam] war ended in 1975,” Towne said. “I was five years old at the time, so I wasn’t really thinking too much about it…I learned about the Vietnam war in school, like a lot of people did. Being in the education field, I kind of saw this as an opportunity to educate people my age and younger about the conflict.”
The traveling memorial, based in Brevard County, Florida, is a three-fifths-scale model of the actual memorial in Washington D.C. The replica is nearly 300 feet long and is six feet tall at its highest point. Like the original, it contains the names of more than 50,000 people killed in the Vietnam war.
“We want to do the memorial justice and make the event as respectful and nice as it could possibly be,” Towne said.