PERRYOPOLIS — The Frazier School District grounds will host a traveling memorial to Vietnam War veterans this summer organized by Perry Township and the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department.
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will be on display at the district’s campus in Perryopolis from Aug. 7-12, according to township supervisor and fire chief A.J. Boni.
The wall is a 6-foot-tall, 288-foot-long, three-fifths scale model replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
“It’s the same names that are on the one in Washington D.C.,” said Boni.
The wall will arrive in Perryopolis on Aug. 6, at which time volunteers will assemble it panel by panel on a grassy area between the elementary/middle school and the high school. An official opening dedication will be held the following day.
The memorial will be handicapped-accessible, said Boni.
Boni said the township and fire department budgeted about $10,000 in total to bring the wall to Fayette County. They received aid from the Fayette County Commissioners and the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau in the form of a $8,500 marketing grant to help finance the project.
“It’s a big deal,” said Boni. “It’ll be busy. There will be a lot of people in and out of there, especially on the weekend.”
Boni asked the school board to halt band practice in the area of the memorial during its occupancy of the space.
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall has found its way to southwestern Pennsylvania at least once before. The memorial was on display at the Greene County Fairgrounds from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, 2017.
Boni said he believes the wall’s upcoming visit to Perryopolis to be its first to Fayette County.
The traveling memorial is curated by the Vietnam and All Veterans of Brevard, a nonprofit organization located in Brevard County, Florida.
The memorial was made for the purpose of healing and stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made during the Vietnam War. It provides an opportunity to pay tribute to veterans both past and present, without the need to travel to Washington, D.C.