To the Editor:
Excitement is building as Berwyn prepares to welcome The Moving Wall. The half-size replica of the Washington, D.C., Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will come to Berwyn from Aug. 7 through 11, as part of its 2014 nationwide touring schedule.
Through the leadership of Berwyn Mayor Robert J. Lovero and Jeffrey Janda, executive director of the Berwyn Park District, with additional assistance from the Berwyn Development Corp. and area veteran’s organizations, the 252-foot-long memorial wall replica will be open to visitors 24 hours a day for five days in Proksa Park, 3001 S. Wisconsin Ave., Berwyn.
Committees are at work to make sure Berwyn’s Honor 2014 event will be a fitting commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and the 30th anniversary of The Moving Wall.
As co-chairmans of the History and Research Committee, Richard Leja and I helped identify 11 soldiers from Berwyn and 60 from nearby communities who gave their lives in the Vietnam War. I am especially grateful for assistance rendered by municipal clerks of Berwyn, Brookfield, Cicero, Forest Park, La Grange, La Grange Park, Lyons, Oak Park, Riverside, Stickney and Western Springs. The Research Committee is seeking volunteers to help locate relatives and friends of these 71 fallen heroes and invite them to share their stories of service and sacrifice. Volunteers may call Reba Wachal at 708-788-1701, ext. 13.
We have been so pleased with the response to date that we are reaching out to additional nearby communities with the approval of Janda. We are especially anxious to locate photographs of these soldiers to display with each name as it is read at the memorial ceremony by Mayor Lovero.
Other committees also need help. Those wishing to volunteer may call Conor Cahill or Richard Leja at 708-795-2892. We hope many will answer the call to honor our veterans.
Donald E. Pechous