Ground broken for Vietnam wall replica – Mississippi News

Ground broken for Vietnam wall replica – Mississippi News

By William Moore

Daily Journal

TUPELO – By Veterans Day this fall, there will be a smaller version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Tupelo.

Following the ceremonial groundbreaking Monday morning, the actual work is set to begin Tuesday.

“We’ll actually start turning dirt this week, probably Tuesday,” said Tupelo Parks & Recreation Department director Alex Farned. “We hope to have everything complete by this fall so we can have a ribbon-cutting on Veterans Day in November.

“A lot of that depends on how long it takes to get the granite slabs. The dirtwork and sidewalks won’t take long. Getting the stone engraved and shipped will be the biggest holdup.”

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Marine Corps veteran Rex Moody, center, begins to celebrate after the official groundbreaking of the Vietnam Wall Memorial at Veterans Park in Tupelo

The simple, black granite “V” will be 60 percent of the size of the official monument in Washington, D.C.

“It will be a little over 6 feet tall at the center,” said landscape architect Shipman Sloan. “The one in Washington is completely below ground. We will build a berm behind the walls so they are only partially underground.”

Rex Moody, the president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Tupelo chapter, can’t wait for the local memorial to be finished.

“It means a lot to Vietnam veterans and it will mean a lot to the city,” Moody said. “You can see it. You can touch it. It has a potential. It is a healing wall.

“So many veterans go there and come away feeling better. They can find a measure of peace. I stop by every time I got to…

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