‘Wall Of Wars’ To Unite Generations
A single, 6-foot-tall black granite stone dedicated to the Vietnam War is the first of 12 monuments to take up residence at the Northport VA Medical Center.
Called the Wall of Wars, the monument project, which will honor servicemen and women from each war since the Revolutionary War, drew 200 people to the medical center’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial Garden Courtyard Friday for a ceremony that included emotional speeches from veterans and advocates.
The first stone to go up was a tribute to the Vietnam War. Construction for the remainder of the Wall of Wars is expected to begin in a few weeks, according to the Northport VA Medical Center public affairs office.
Vietnam Veterans of America Suffolk Chapter President Richard Kitson spoke of the importance of having memorials such as the Wall of Wars for veterans.
“Never again will a woman or man come home to their country and feel like nobody cares,” he said. “This is a place to heal.”
On Friday, Vietnam veterans, proudly sporting their green jackets, held up cutouts to represent what the unfinished components of the wall will look like. When complete, the wall will be made up of 12 monuments to represent veterans from each war the United States has battled in, beginning with the American Revolution and ending with the Global War on Terror. Each stone is engraved with the name of the war, an illustration, and the years of the war.
All together, the wall will stretch across more than 30 feet of the stone patio that was constructed in 2011. A total of $160,000 has been raised for the wall so that each piece can be donated.
Kitson said the wall will unite veterans of all generations. The 12 monuments signify the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Desert War, and the Global War on Terrorism.
Veterans, active duty soldiers, military supporters, and Northport High School students all listened closely to presenters at the Nov. 8 ceremony, who shared their gratitude for those who have served in the United States military. Many had tears in their eyes during speeches and poems read by speakers, and songs sung by the Northport High School Tour Choir.
“With all our hearts we thank you for your service,” Northport VAMC Director Philip Moschitta said. “We express our appreciation for all that you’ve done to keep us free.”
The Vietnam Memorial Garden was incorporated into the Northport VA Medical Center courtyard in the fall of 2010; a stage and patio were added in 2011. The Wall of Wars will complete the courtyard project and create a tranquil place for veterans.