South Charlotte

Memorial Wall plans to return to Indian Trail

This summer, Indian Trail will host the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall for a second time.

When the memorial wall, a 3/5 scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., first visited Indian Trail in 2007, more than 40,000 people visited. The wall was open 24 hours a day, and some veterans even came during the night for a quieter visit.

"It's quite an honor to be selected (to host the wall) again," said Brian Boze, vice commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2423, which will host the wall again in a park behind the VFW post on Indian Trail Road.

The wall is about 300 feet long and 6 feet high in the middle. Boze applied to bring it to Indian Trail in 2011, and learned at the end of the year that it would arrive in June for five days. Fundraising has kicked into high gear, and Boze hopes to raise $40,000 in 90 days.

The money will pay for hiring Union County Sheriff's officers and emergency personnel to staff the site, printing brochures and buying rubbing paper for people to make etchings of names engraved on the wall.

The VFW also plans to improve its park, which was built to house the moving wall in 2007. Veterans plan to install a permanent walkway around the park and a 3-foot stainless steel statue of a POW MIA bracelet.

The post will offer on-site counseling during the wall's visit as well.

The VFW already has raised $18,000, which includes a $7,500 donation from the town of Indian Trail. Bruster's Real Ice Cream in Indian Trail recently hosted a fundraiser. Other Indian Trail businesses, including Extreme Ice Center, BonfireBar & Grill and Kate's Skate, will hold fundraisers in soon.

The VFW will escort the wall from Lowe's Motor Speedway in Cabarrus County to Indian Trail, and Vietnam veterans will assemble it.

"Everybody's excited that it's coming back," Boze said.

Boze will speak about the wall and its visit at an Indian Trail Business Association at 6:30 p.m. March 14 at VFW Post2423 on Indian Trail Road. Representatives from all businesses and organizations are invited.

The wall will be in Indian Trail June 14-June 18, and it will be open 24 hours a day. Details: www.vfwpost2423.com.

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