The Brownsville Area Military Honor Roll is bringing The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to the borough this summer, but needs help raising funds to offset the cost of doing so.
Denny Falsetto, chairman of the honor roll committee, said the cost of bringing the wall from Florida is almost $7,500. Additional expenses like room and board for those bringing it and around-the-clock security bring the cost to almost $11,000, he said.
The wall is a three-fifths scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and stands 6 feet tall and 300 feet from end to end. He said the purpose of the traveling wall is to give people the opportunity to visit the names of fallen loved ones and pay their respects in their own towns.
Seeing it is “a humbling experience,” Falsetto said.
“It’s a quiet reflection that a lot of guys have when they go over, they look at it and you’ll see them standing over there with tears in their eyes,” he said.
Falsetto said the committee already has received some pledges for donations.
The exhibit was last brought to the area in September 2017, when it was exhibited at the Greene County Fairgrounds.
The wall will be displayed at Brownsville Area High School July 1-5, and it will be free to visit.
Falsetto hopes seeing the memorial will give people a chance to reflect on the past and those who gave their lives for their country.
“It’s just something that I think we should keep active (and) keep people aware of what happened,” he said. “We did it (fought in Vietnam), even though we had no support to do it.”
When the wall arrives, Falsetto said, it will pass the borough’s recently installed veterans’ memorial in Snowden Square. Dedicated in November, that honor roll is comprised of five monuments and commemorates those from the Brownsville area who were killed or went missing in action during their service.
Anyone who would like to donate can send a check to the Brownsville Area Military Honor Roll, P.O. Box 636, Brownsville, Pa., 15417. In addition to funds, the committee is looking for volunteers to help set up the wall and break it down.
Falsetto said anyone with questions can contact him at 724-366-2113.