Pahrump Supports Our Veterans
Pahrump Supports Our Veterans
In September 2016, the town of Pahrump was honored to host the arrival of The Moving Wall. The event was sponsored by the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce to “Honor our Fallen.” One hundred Patriot companies and individuals made generous donations to help raise funds to bring it to town. The wall arrived to coincide with the Fall Festival. By locating it at a different venue than the festival, visitors could experience the wall in silence and reverence. It was open 24/7 to the public with lights at night, so those who chose to could make their visit private.
This wall is a half-size replica of the Washington DC Vietnam Memorial and has been touring the country for over 30 years. It came to life out of a promise Vietnam Veteran John Devitt made to himself after witnessing the dedication of the real wall in DC in 1982. He felt it was important for people around the country to have a chance to see and touch the wall; to find the name of a loved one who died. He wanted to reach those people who do not have the means or the opportunity to get to Washington DC to visit the real one.
Devitt, Norris Shears, Gerry Haver, and other Vietnam veteran volunteers created The Moving Wall, and it made its first appearance in Tyler, Texas in October of 1984. Currently, there are two Moving Walls making their way around the country from April through November. They have traveled to every state in the U. S. as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, and Saipan.
Here in Pahrump, the wall was erected at Simkins Park, not too far away from the Festival grounds. A shuttle between the two locations was available so festival goers could visit the wall separately from the fair. There are close to 6,000 veterans in the Pahrump area, and many of them helped assemble the wall. Also, Team Depot from the local Home Depot Store built the foundation as well as the walkway passing in front of the display. In addition to the many hours of labor by employees, Home Depot donated the material needed and the flowers surrounding the exhibit. Since 2011, The Home Depot Foundation has given more than $138,000,000 to veteran-related causes.
Ron Frazier, the publisher of the local magazine Pahrump Life, produced the magazine-like program which related the history of the war and the selective service, real life stories of several local veterans who survived Vietnam, and other historical information about the conflict. Copies of the program are still available at the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce office if you are interested.
Visiting The Moving Wall is a way of showing respect to all of those who died for our country and the people who live here. Thanks to all our military who have fought in the wars throughout our history, we continue to keep our freedom and the ability to live life the American Way. Chris Erwin, CEO of the Chamber said “No words can express the sincere gratitude we have for those brave soldiers on the wall. They are the real heroes. Thank you for giving my family and me the opportunity of happiness, from your great sacrifice. You will never be forgotten.”
The town of Pahrump is grateful to all of those who have served and are still serving in our military.