Sunday, September 28, 2008

A "moving wall" sort of seems like an oxymoron...

ORIGINAL POST: 15 July 2008

I've seen quite a few walls recently:

The Wall... (Wailing Wall, Western Wall)

...the Berlin Wall...

...or just a lot of pretty walls that hold up pretty buildings.

A few years back, I visited the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., and that was yet another wall. It didn't hold up anything, nor did it keep anything out... but much like the Western Wall many go there to remember.

This time, the wall came to us.

Something that some might consider a contradiction in terms, the "Moving Wall" has been on tour in the southeast this summer.
No, its not the real deal, of course. In fact, the thing is substantially scaled down to half the size of the original and built from a sort of composite metal/plastic substance supported from behind.

Anyways, it is definitely a nice gesture and, even for a town as small as mine, was well attended - at least enough to get the grass browned and marred from foot-traffic.

Quite serendipitously, we came upon the closing ceremonies yesterday (Monday) just in time to see it before it moved on.

Our mayor spoke...

...which, like many of these sort of things, is a speech of "thank you and thank you and thank you" - after all, re-election is coming up in November. Who can blame him?

And a guy I graduated with played taps...

...he works for the sheriff's office now.

I can only imagine how hot he must have been.

As cheesy as it may sound to some who have seen the REAL wall - which, might I add, is an extremely moving experience - it is a mighty nice gesture for those who are unable to ever see the real thing... the older couple that approached me right after the ceremony. She asked me about my camera: I can geek out about cameras like the best of them, but who wants to talk about stuff like THAT when I have a chance to talk about something far more important.

I found out they had lost a nephew in the Vietnam War...

Darwin Shelton was killed by friendly fire three weeks after he landed in Vietnam. He had grown up in my hometown, but had moved away shortly before the military got him for service.

Then I come to find out this couple knew my family well. She graduated high school with my grandmother and he knew my uncle and grandfather well.

Small world...

...but then again, we are in my little town. It is a small world all of its own.

So, the "Moving Wall" on a hot Monday afternoon in July...

...that is all.

~Noah D.

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