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Moving Wall making stop in Akwesasne starting Thursday

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"AKWESASNE - The Moving Wall, a half-size Vietnam War memorial wall replica, will make a stop in Akwesasne later this week.

American Legion Post 1479 Commander Todd Conners said the half-scale replica wall will be on display at the softball field near the Legion on state Route 37 from Thursday until Tuesday.

“It’s all about the respect for those people and their families,” Mr. Conners said. “There’s 59,000 names on that wall, and four of them are from Akwesasne.”

Conners said the four names are Clifford Tarbell, Charles Martin, Charles Rubado and William Tarbell.

“Those people sacrificed everything,” Mr. Conners said.

The wall is set to arrive at the reservation in pieces on Thursday morning and a team of volunteers will assemble it, Mr. Conners said.

Although Mr. Conners said he is hoping for the wall to be open for free public viewing by Thursday afternoon, Saturday night will feature a grand opening ceremony. He said the ceremony will feature a blend of traditional Native and military elements.

“We’re going to show off some of our culture,” Mr. Conners said, adding that the Native ceremony will include traditional drummers, dancers, and singers. One part of the ceremony will feature a parade of flags around the softball field. Mr. Conners said any child in attendance that wants to participate in the parade and carry an American flag will be welcome to do so.

Mr. Conners said a team of about 40 volunteers will work to assemble the wall. He said the volunteers are a mix of American Legion members, Sons of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and community members. Earlier in the week, they had to assemble a platform to specific dimensions, where the wall will rest, according to Mr. Conners.

The traveling wall is 300 feet long and six feet high. It’s most recent stop was three days in Springfield, Vt. After Akwesasne, the wall will go to Solon, Ohio.

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