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Vietnam Veterans 'Moving Wall' returns to Missouri Capitol

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A half-size, movable version of the Vietnam Veterans memorial wall is now on display at the Missouri Capitol.

The "Moving Wall," as it's officially known, is not the only traveling version of the memorial in Washington, D.C., but it's the only version sanctioned by Congress.

The traveling exhibit was commissioned in 1984, with the purpose of bringing the Vietnam Memorial to those who can't travel to Washington, D.C.  Jill Snodgrass is the local project manager for the moving wall.

"When (people), especially the veterans, have a chance to come up to the wall and touch the wall, I think they feel a real connection to it," Snodgrass said, "especially the ones that haven't had a chance to see the wall in person in Washington."

It's the second time Jefferson City has hosted the moving wall, the first exhibit taking place in 2005.

"A group of people who worked on that project decided that 2015, 10 years later, (the) decade anniversary, and also the anniversary of the 50th year of the beginning of the war, would be a good time to bring it back to our capital city," Snodgrass said.

About 400 people turned out Thursday for the opening ceremony, including Vietnam veteran Macy Jett, 72, of Holts Summit.

"I was fortunate enough to see the main wall in Washington, D.C., and I think that's when I kind of got rid of the war at that time," Jett said.  "I have three very close friends that's on the wall, and then three others that was in our unit, but I did not know them personally."

Credit Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio
Elizabeth Bailey of St. Robert, Mo., traces the name of her uncle, Marine Pfc. Ollie Ray Cotten, at the Moving Wall exhibit at the Mo. Capitol.

The moving wall will be on display at the Missouri Capitol through Monday.  The names of those killed and missing in action will be read aloud at daily ceremonies, with the last name scheduled to be read before Monday's closing ceremony.

It was also displayed last month in the southeast Missouri town of Dexter.

More information on the moving wall can be found here.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.

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