A lasting impression

Anthony Cloud Staff Writer

September 12, 2013

It has been just over a month since the Vietnam Moving Wall was in Middlesboro. It was a time to reminisce for some and a time of healing for others.

“This event drew thousands of people into downtown Middlesboro and gave them the opportunity to see the replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall, the most visited monument in Washington D.C.,” said Bell County Tourism CEO Judy Barton. “Many would never be able to make the trip to Washington D.C. to visit the original wall.”

Vietnam Veteran Mike Marcum reported nearly 9,000 people came to visit the wall from 10 different states. He said there were visitors from Florida to Michigan that made the trip to see the wall.

“It was a huge success,” said Barton. “It was something for the community. It wasn’t about making money. It was for the veterans and our fallen comrades.”

Marcum said from the beginning he let local politicians know the event was not a political activity. They agreed, he said.

Marcum said he felt the moving wall allowed the community and veterans to go through a healing process. He said he feels it gave the community a chance to hear what those who served in Vietnam went through during that time.

“I think it brought the community closer,” said Marcum. “Patriotism is alive and well in Bell County.”

Barton said she has not heard one negative comment about the event.

Barton said there were over 40 sponsors who offered assistance. The city and county governments were major donors.

“We really appreciate the officials and sponsors,” said Marcum. “Without them, it wouldn’t have been a success. They went above and beyond the call for this.”

“We express gratitude to everyone who donated funds and materials, to the ones that volunteered at the information tent and to the veterans, and others that helped construct the platform for the wall panels and transformed the city parking lot into a park-like setting,” said Barton.

Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-248-1010, ext. 208, acloud@civitasmedia.com