Moving Wall remembered for impact on attendees

Sep 19, 2017

Though the Vietnam Moving Wall left Wareham in August, many people are certain the experience will not be soon forgotten. On Monday, the Methodist Meeting House was packed with people eager to talk about their experiences at the Moving Wall.

Attendees shared stories and thanks to everyone who helped bring the wall to Wareham Aug. 17 to 21. The wall is a scaled-down replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C. and contains the names of those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

Charles Sooy, a Vietnam veteran, had plenty of stories from the days he spent volunteering at the Moving Wall. Sooy said he'll always remember when he told a mother and her 13-year-old daughter to point to a name at random.

“I said, ‘Stick your finger out and just point to a name. These names may reach out to you,’” Sooy said. When the 13-year-old walked a few paces and pointed to a name, she was surprised to find that she was pointing at her own last name.

“I told them to go home and look up that name and see the history behind it,” Sooy said.

Bob White, chairman of the Wareham Veterans Council, told everyone in the room to turn to the person next to them, shake their hand and thank them for their role in bringing the Moving Wall to Wareham.

“We hope the conversations that started around the wall will continue,” White said.

Donations from businesses, individuals and neighboring towns helped raise the $50,000 needed to bring the Moving Wall to Wareham. White estimated 15,000 people visited the wall in the five days it was in Wareham.

“There are no words to express the gratitude I feel for every single one of you,” Wareham Historical Society President Angela Dunham told the group. Dunham, an organizer of the event, said she was amazed by the number of people who pulled together to help.

“I learned things about close friends that I never knew and I made new friends that I will hold close to my heart all of my days,” Dunham said.