Home Attractions Traveling Vietnam Wall Exhibit Coming To Lakeland

Traveling Vietnam Wall Exhibit Coming To Lakeland

Image of the traveling wall courtesy Terry Adams.

According to Terry Adams, the CEO and President of the Mid South Veterans League, the in demand traveling exhibit will be in Lakeland this August. According to travelingwall.us the exhibit dates are August 22-26, 2024.

The Lakeland Board of Commissioners (BOC) recently gave City Manager Michael Walker the approval to coordinate the event details as well as contributing $3,000 as a sponsor of the event. The traveling Vietnam wall is a 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC and it stands six feet tall at the center and covers almost 300 feet from end to end. According to the Traveling Wall website the memorial stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made during the Vietnam War. It also serves the purpose of helping heal and rekindle friendships and to allow people the opportunity to visit loved ones in their home town who otherwise may not be able to make the trip to Washington. “All 58,000 names are on the wall, just like in Washington DC,” Mr. Adams told Lakeland Currents. He said there will also be 9/11 memorabilia in the exhibit. “It’s more than just the Vietnam wall.”

Image of the traveling wall courtesy Terry Adams.

The city will utilize property in the Lakeland Gateway TIF District for the exhibit and there are currently two possible locations according to Mr. Adams. The wall could be placed at what is now The Relax Inn property, but with plans to begin demolition of that property later this month, it will be an empty lot in August. A secondary location is the former location of the Econo Lodge, however, that property could be under construction in August with the upcoming Lakeland YMCA.

Need For Sponsors and Volunteers

Mr. Adams also said the need for sponsors and volunteers is great. “Bringing this to Lakeland will cost about $30,000 and we are looking for corporate sponsors as well as individuals lead to give,” he said. “But we also need volunteers to help put up the wall and take it down, as well as read the names of servicemembers from Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi who were killed in action during Vietnam.”

Mr. Adams said his desire to bring the wall to the Memphis area is so veterans can come out and talk about their time in the service. “According to research, 17 US veterans commit suicide everyday,” he said. Mr. Adam’s own brother was one of those who committed suicide after Vietnam so he knows the pain families go thru. “We hope this exhibit pays honor and helps veterans heal. All veterans, not just Vietnam veterans.”

If you would like to learn more about the MVLI or donate please visit https://www.mvli.org/building/donate