"The Vietnam Wall is a very important part of the memorial, but the steel panels it was made of just couldn't survive the forces of nature," said Brad Hodson, vice president for university advancement.
The original wall, a half-sized version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was created as one of three traveling exhibits that criss-crossed the U.S. John Devitt, the creator of the moving wall, donated it to the university when the Veterans Memorial was built in 2004.
"Initially, the steel panels looked great," Hodson said. "After a couple of years, however, in weather that ranged from scorching hot sunshine to freezing rain, the panels began to fade. It was clear that if we were going to honor the sacrifice of these brave soldiers appropriately, it would have to be done in the same black granite as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington."
Over the past year, the university has raised the private dollars needed to recreate the wall in stone. The new wall, which includes more than 58,000 names of soldiers who died in Vietnam, will be dedicated at a special Veterans Day ceremony at 2 p.m. on Nov. 11.
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