Moving Wall offers local chance to reflect on Vietnam

DOVER — “The Wall that Heals” exhibit is coming to Dover in a few days.

The centerpiece is the half-sized replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington.

“I really treasure that wall because some of those guys I knew, but most importantly we because we can pay our respects and remembrance for those that gave our country everything they had,” said Paul Davis, president of the Delaware State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

“For me, it’s a very personal thing,” he said, “because I consider myself blessed having come back alive and with no issues. It’s a reminder to me that we’ll always remember those that were killed in Vietnam.”

18dsn huey 1

Kent Countians, whose names are on the Kent County Memorial in Dover, include several men who had ties to Dover Air Force Base or other communities. The list below shows name, home of record at time of enlistment and place on the Wall (panel/line): •Robert P. Acher Jr., Greensburg, Ind., Air Force, 18W/18 •Donald R. Bailey, Willow Grove, Army, 4W/96 •Paul L. Berry, Melbourne, Florida, Army, 34E/14 •Bruce E. Clough, Magnolia, Marine Corps, 50W/48 •Toby E. Collins, Dover, Army, 58W/23 •George H. Coppage III, Wyoming, Army, 60E/21 •George W. Cripps, Dover, Army, 4E/68 •Clifton Cubbage, Bowers Beach, Army, 61E/8 •Bruce E. Dolbow, Felton, Army, 46W/14 •Robert H. Donaway, Felton, Army, 19W/59 •Harold W. Haddick, Dover, Air Force, 25E/29 •Jan V. Henrickson, Hartly, Army, 49W/54 •Lawrence E. Hitchens, Magnolia, Marine Corps, 24W/31 •Donald R. Hoskins, Madison, Indiana, Air Force, 1W/7 •Wayne C. Jester, Milford, Army, 49E/11 •James H. Johnson Jr., Milford, Army, 1E/29 •Donald E. Kenton, Dover, Army, 43E/23 •Graham N. Lowdon Jr., Wilmington, Army, 22E/79 •William L. Lowman, Smyrna, Army, 14E/118 •John M. Martin, Glenshaw, Pa., Air Force, 30E/45 •Paul Oswald Meder, Queens, N.Y., Air Force, 1W/101 •Mark W. Minear, Merritt Island, Fla., Air Force, 7W/22 •Abraham L. Moore, Gaines, Pa., Air Force, 17W/68 •William L. Nellans, Warshaw, Indiana, Air Force, 26E/85 •Alexander J. Palenscar III, New York, Navy, 17E/59 •Larry F. Potts, Smyrna, Marine Corps, 24W/132 •Nolan R. Ray, Dover, Army, 49E/36 •Edwin H. Sornson, Dover, 8E/70

There will be an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday and the Wall will remain in place through Saturday.

For Mr. Davis, an Army veteran, there also is an educational component that is important.

“We should always be aware of the legacy of the Vietnam War so that future generations will have a better understanding of the war and the sacrifices that were made,” he said.

After Thursday’s opening ceremonies, Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen will begin reading the names of those who died in the war.

In shifts, volunteers will read all 58,286 names.

Among them are 28 Kent Countians.

More than 160 Delawareans died in the war.

The Wall registry lists the home of record for the casualties, so some may not appear under Delaware when doing the research. Officially, a search will turn up 122 Delawareans. Their names, along with their place on the Wall, are listed below.

Volunteers are still needed for the reading of names. Contact Sherri Taylor, of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, at (302) 257-3117 or sherri.taylor@state.de.us to sign up.

***

On Tuesday afternoon, the “Wall the Heals” hauler will arrive at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on South Little Creek Road in Dover with an escort of police and veterans on motorcycles.

Representatives of the Commission of Veterans Affairs and Kent County Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 850, who partnered to bring the Wall back to Dover for the first time since 1998, will greet the crew. Volunteers from Dover Air Force Base and local veterans groups will assist in setting up the display.

The traveling Wall is approximately 250 feet in length, and like the original memorial, is erected in a chevron shape. The replica is constructed of powder-coated aluminum, supported by an aluminum frame.

The names are listed in order of the casualty. The names start on the East Wall (right-hand side) working their way out to the end of that wing, picking up again at the far end of the West Wall (left-hand side) and working their way back in to the center/apex, joining the beginning and end of the conflict at the center.

“We try to replicate the experience as best we can to the Wall here in Washington,” said Heidi Zimmerman, communications manager for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

The pencil “rubbing” of names is not allowed on the traveling wall. But those who want such a keepsake can ask for a copy at the Education Center at the exhibit hauler.

There is no cost to view the exhibits, which will include an educational display. Among the collection for the public to see are items that have been left behind in honor or memory. Poems, hats, stuffed animals, medals and more have been left over the years.

As part of the agreement to bring the Wall to Delaware, there has to be a local place to house any items left here.

The items left in 1998 are on display at the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs.

Once open to the public, it will be open to visitors 24 hours. Bennett Security, along with volunteers, will be present overnight.

“A lot of veterans like to come in the middle of the night when no one else is around,” said Ms. Zimmerman. “and have a moment of peace with it.”

***

An effort is underway to collect photographs of all of the Delawareans killed in the Vietnam War.

Ms. Zimmerman said Delaware still lacks 49 of the 122 on the list.

“There’s 122 on the wall from Delaware and we’re still missing 49 pictures,” she said.

Some, including those of Donald R. Bailey and James H. Johnson Jr., from Kent County, are already submitted.

The photos will be on display in the Wall of Faces online and in the planned Education Center at The Wall, which will be on the National Mall, across the street from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial, in a few years.

Ms. Zimmerman said the photos do not need to be of the service members in uniforms.

“What’s interesting to me is that some people send in their military photos, but we’ve got high school graduation photos and we always say that we like photos that show personality,” she said.

“If you go to our Wall of Faces (www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/) and you do an advance search that shows all of Delaware, the first one that comes up is a Bethany Beach lifeguard on the beach. That really shows personality and it really shows the area.”

The lifeguard she mentions is Thomas Adams of Selbyville.

Photos can be uploaded to the site.

If a Delaware family or friends of the fallen have photos, they could be brought to the “Wall that Heals” exhibit where they could be scanned.

Locally, VVA Kent County Chapter 850 member Ray Harris has been leading an effort to collect the Delaware photos.

He can be reached at devvachap850@gmail.com.

Below, note that the names with asterisks are the Delawareans whose photos have not yet been posted by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

So far, only six states have completed their lists of photos.

VVM-Graphic

Delawareans on the Wall

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund seeks photographs of all the war’s casualties to appear in the Wall of Faces online and in the planned Education Center at the Wall in Washington. The names with asterisks represent Delawareans whose photos are needed.

The names shown are the 122 men, credited to Delaware by the Department of Defense, are on the Wall.

Name, Hometown, Date of casualty, Wall Panel/Line
Thomas B. Adams, Selbyville, March 4, 1968 42E/60
George L. Aikin, Wilmington, Oct. 9, 1969 17W/53
*Robert D. Alexander, Claymont, May 20, 1967 20E/52
Douglas D. Alley, Newark, Feb. 26, 1966 5E/78
Francis B. Amoroso, Newark, Sept. 3, 1967 25E/92
Charles R. Anderson, Newark, March 3, 1971 4W/18
Robert C. Anderson, Middletown, Feb. 3, 1968 37E/3
*David M. Arnold, Hockessin, July 15, 1968 52W/33
Gerald F. Ayres, New Castle, June 18, 1972 1W/44
*Donald R. Bailey, Willow Grove, March 31, 1971 4W/96
*William S. Baker, Middletown, July 25, 1968 50W/4
Leonard A. Bird, Wilmington, July 13, 1968 52W/21
Wolfram W. Bischof, Wilmington, Feb. 13, 1967 15E/24
Ronald T. Bleacher, Marshallton, Sept. 29, 1968 42W/38
Richard A. Bowman, Newark, June 9, 1970 9W/31
*Robert M. Bowman, Wilm., June 29, 1966 8E/107
Charles E. Boxler, Wilmington, Oct. 28, 1968 17W/126
Paul F. Branyan Jr., New Castle, Dec. 10, 1967 31E/71
Linden W. Brittingham, Milton, March 1, 1968 42E/13
*Elmore Brittingham Jr., Wilm., March 25, 1967 17E/41
Werner C. Brown II, Wilmington, Sept. 29, 1968 42W/39
*William J. Bunting, Frankford, May 26, 1970 10W/101
*Reginald W. Burris, Ellendale, Aug. 19, 1969 19W/66
*Wilbert R. Butler, Wilmington, Feb. 7, 1966 5E/9
*Jeffrey T. Cassidy, New Castle, March 10, 1969 30W/99
*Richard M. Chamberlain, Wilm., June 21, 1968 55W/11
Theodore W. Chason, Wilm., Oct. 8, 1967, 27E/69
Bruce E. Clough, Magnolia, Aug. 2, 1968 50W/48
Toby E. Collins, Dover, June 11, 1968 58W/23
James J. Connell, Wilmington, July 15, 1966 9E/22
George H. Coppage III, Wyoming, May 15, 1968 60E/21
George W. Cripps, Dover, Jan. 13, 1966 4E/68
*Rolin J. Crosby, Wilmington, Nov. 6, 1971 2W/63
Clifton Cubbage, Bowers Beach, May 16, 1968 61E/8
*Donald M. Cuff, Wilmington, June 7, 1968 59W/21
*Michael R. Dadisman, Newark, June 24, 1970 9W/88
Donald E. Dawson Jr., Wilm., Feb. 9, 1968 38E/48
Gary L. Dempsey, Yorklyn, Jan. 1, 1970 15W/114
Richard S. Dennison, Bethel, March 5, 1971 4W/23
Michael Di Pasquantonio, Wilm., Feb. 5, 1970 14W/103
Robert W. Dieffenbach Jr., Newark, Oct. 18, 1968 41W/72
*Raymond P. Dobrzynski, Wilm., March 13, 1968 44E/35
Bruce E. Dolbow, Felton, Aug. 25, 1968 46W/14
Robert H. Donaway, Felton, Aug. 18, 1969 19W/59
*James V. Donnelly, Wilm., March 25, 1966 6E/48
Lloyd J. Downs, Claymont, June 19, 1969 22W/88
*Robert W. Doyle, Wilmington, Jan. 5, 1968 33E/47
Robert A. Falkenau, Wilmington, Dec. 6, 1969 15W/32
Richard J. Faulkner, Wilmington, Feb. 25, 1968 41E/20
Elmer L. Faulkner Jr., Greenwood, June 18, 1968 56W/20
Kevin G. Flaherty, Wilmington, Nov. 4, 1967 29E/19
Paul M. Fones, Bear, Jan. 10, 1968 34E/18
*Robert J. Fuller, Wilmington, Nov. 10, 1969 16W/52
*Francis X. Gaworski, N. Castle, April 10, 1970 12W/117
Alan G. Geissinger, Newark, July 11, 1969 21W/100
*Donald F. Gibson, Milford, July 19, 1968 51W/10
*James A. Glover, Wilmington, May 31, 1967 21E/22
*John J. Gott Jr., Wilmington, Dec. 18, 1968 36W/40
Gene T. Grant, Bridgeville, May 29, 1968 63W/6
Harold W. Haddick, Dover, Aug. 22, 1967 25E/29
*Vaughn O. Hall, Georgetown, May 23, 1969 24W/84
*Donald P. Hamilton, Ellendale, Dec. 19, 1967 32E/22
David J. Hastings, Laurel, July 18, 1969 20W/14
Jon J. Hayden, Newark, Aug. 16, 1967 24E/116
Jan V. Henrickson, Hartly, Aug. 12, 1968 49W/54
Gene K. Hess, Townsend, June 17, 1966 8E/57
Raymond C. Hetzler, Wilm., Feb. 27, 1970 13W/63
Richard K. Hill, Seaford, March 26, 1966 6E/51
Arthur S. Hill Jr., Wilmington, March 4, 1969 30W/37
Lawrence E. Hitchens, Magnolia, May 17, 1969 24W/31
James E. Holden, Millsboro, Nov. 17, 1965 3E/79
*Sylvester J. Howard, Wilm., Oct. 14, 1968 41W/62
Wayne C. Jester, Milford, April 10, 1968 49E/11
*Robert E. Johnson, Greenville, July 21, 1967 23E/101
*James H. Johnson Jr., Milford, Oct. 3, 1963 1E/29
Frank W. Jones, Claymont, June 30, 1968 54W/24
William E. Jones, Millsboro, July 14, 1970 8W/17
*Joseph M. Kaminski Jr., Wilm., May 24, 1968 68E/3
Donald E. Kenton, Dover, March 6, 1968 43E/23
Lawrence L. La Salle, Newark, March 17, 1967 16E/102
Louis A. Leatherbury, Wilm., March 24, 1967 17E/37
Graham N. Lowdon Jr., Wilm., June 28, 1967 22E/79
William L. Lowman, Smyrna, Feb. 4, 1967 14E/118
*Raymond J. Ludwig, Wilm., July 27, 1967 24E/8
*Harry P. McFalls, Lewes, Jan. 10, 1968 34E/24
Robert J. Mereider, Milton, Jan. 28, 1968 35E/55
*Glenn W. Miller, Wilmington, April 7, 1970 12W/104
*James L. Miller, Seaford, Dec. 14, 1967 31E/93
Michael Momcilovich Jr. , Wilm., May 5, 1968 55E/23
*Arthur C. Morris Jr., Newark, April 3, 1966 6E/81
James T. Morris Jr., Wilmington, Nov. 3, 1967 29E/16
*Jesse L. Moses, Wilmington, Aug. 4, 1970 8W/83
William J. Murphy, New Castle, Feb. 16, 1970 13W/20
*Frank W. Nelson Jr., Wilm., Feb. 23, 1969 31W/13
*Samuel Paoletti, Stanton, July 17, 1967 23E/83
*George E. Partin, Georgetown, Aug. 14, 1967 24E/110
George F. Perry III, New Castle, May 15. 1967 20E/3
*William A. Pollard, New Castle, July 21, 1967 23E/103
*Charles E. Porter, Wilmington, April 8, 1966 6E/93
Larry F. Potts, Smyrna, April 7, 1972 2W/132
*Victor E. Press, Wilmington, April 1, 1967 17E/86
Thomas J. Protack, Wilmington, Feb. 1, 1970 14W/90
*Paul W. Quick III, Wilmington, Jan. 11, 1968 34E/31
Nolan R. Ray, Dover, April 12, 1968 49E/36
*James L. Ripanti, Wilm., March 14, 1969 29W/40
*Lionel L. Robinson, Wilm., April 10, 1968 49E/15
*Michael J. Rodowicz, Claymont, Oct. 25, 1969 17W/118
Frederick E. Smith, Wilmington, Feb. 26, 1966 5E/81
Edwin H. Sornson, Dover, June 20, 1966 8E/70
Richard C. Stevenson, Georgetown, Feb. 23, 1969 31W/22
Edmund L. Sudler, Wilmington, March 23, 1966 6E/43
Robert M. Tams, Wilmington, May 10, 1966 7E/46
*Ralph L. Thompson Jr., Wilm., Feb. 1, 1968 36E/61
*Joseph S. Tidwell, New Castle, Jan. 17, 1971 5W/54
Robert L. Tracy, Greenville, Jan. 18, 1968 34E/72
*Daniel A. Tressler Jr., Elsmere, Feb. 2, 1969 33W/45
Howard L. Webb, Rehoboth , June 8, 1967 21E/77
Earl R. Webb Jr., Newark, June 3, 1970 9W/6
Jacob R. Weldin, Wilmington, June 6, 1968 59W/17
*George H. Williams, Wilm., May 16, 1967 20E/12
Edward A. Willing, Wilmington, July 21, 1968 51W/29
*Rodney W. Wilson, Georgetown, May 25, 1970 10W/101

Reach Executive Editor Andrew West at awest@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment