The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam War memorial, visits Santa Barbara in 2005

Paul Wellman (file)

The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam War memorial, visits Santa Barbara in 2005

Vietnam Wall Coming to Santa Barbara

Portable Memorial Will Help Area Residents Remember the Fallen

For the first time since 2005, The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam War memorial in Washington, DC, is coming to Santa Barbara. This will be the first stop on its California tour.

For five days only, starting on September 29 and ending on October 3, this replica of the starkly beautiful Vietnam Wall War Memorial will be coming to 323 Cabrillo Blvd. on the ocean side of Chase Palm Park. The five day exhibit, organized by Santa Barbara’s local chapter 218 of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), will feature a special event on Saturday, October 1 at noon and on Sunday, October 2 at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday there will be a dedication ceremony followed by a flyover of Vietnam-era aircraft (including helicopters and fixed wing aircraft). Sunday evening will have a Candlelight Vigil with a very special acoustic performance by Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer, Dave Mason.

This mobile replica wall was designed to honor the sacrifice of the 58,000 men and women who died — as well the 2.8 million who served — in the Vietnam War. The wall is available 24/7 for the whole five day period and visitors are encouraged to bring notes, wreaths, photos, artifacts, or anything else that serves to honor loved ones. Members of the UCSB ROTC will also stand guard at the illuminated wall 24/7 for the full five days, encouraging visitors to come anytime.

Docents will also be available to assist visitors in any manner as they reflect on the memorial. The VVA local chapter 218 is calling for docents to assist by committing to three-hour shifts outdoors with specific instructions. There are two trainings still available, one of which volunteers must attend in order to be on the volunteer team. The training dates are Saturday, September 24 at 10 a.m.; and Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Trainings will take place at the Veterans Building on Cabrillo Blvd and last one hour. The VVA recommends showing up 10 minutes early in order to sign up. Preference will be given to members of the VVA followed by all veterans and then the general public. The VVA is also seeking sponsorships and donations to help defray the cost of bringing this moving memorial.

The Wall will be open for visiting from noon, Thursday, September 29 through noon on October 3 all hours of the day.

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