I recently received the following letter from American Legion Post #184 which is quoted below in its entirety. I think it is fair to say that rarely a day goes by when those in SFTT to not think about Vietnam and the valiant warriors who sacrificed so much. We applaud your inspired effort to honor these heroes and hope that we as a society have the same resolute passion to honor those who serve in uniform today. Our respect for the men and women in uniform of all wars is manifest by SFTT’s relentless pursuit to provide our troops with the best combat equipment and protective gear possible and our latest “You are not Alone” campaign to help draw attention to the chronic need of those suffering from PTSD.
To: The Editor
From: American Legion Post #184
Commander Harry J. Tweed
Subject: 1/2 Sized Permanent Vietnam Wall
Location: Wildwood, N.J.
I am writing to you mainly to plead with you for some help to benefit a once mistreated and now still mostly forgotten group of United States Soldiers and Sailors, these men and women are known as Vietnam Veterans! You can call what happened in Vietnam a war, a conflict, a huge mistake, or whatever, but thousands of our men and women were sent there, and 58,267 came back breathless!
Here in Wildwood, N.J, a beautiful summer resort all the way at the south tip of New Jersey, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #955 and the American Legion Post #184 have built a stunning 1/2 sized permanent Vietnam Wall with all 58,267 names carved in black slate in the same order as the main wall in Washington D.C. It sits one block from the World Famous Wildwood Boardwalk and about 300 yards from the Atlantic Ocean. Besides Washington there is only one other permanent wall that we know of and that is another 1/2 version somewhere in Florida.
All we are asking from you is to please pick at least one, more would be great, of the pictures I am sending you and put it in your magazine with a brief caption saying what and where it is so our Vietnam Veterans here in the United States have yet another choice to visit their friends they had to leave and maybe never had a chance to say goodbye to. Wildwood is much easier for some people to get to than Washington is, and not to talk badly about Washington but you don’t want to make a wrong turn on some of their streets right now with the crime rate they have.
I have included a Microsoft Word Document telling you how this Wall came about, and also 2 short video clips, one day and one night, and several pictures for you choose from. We are so proud of our Wall and we want people to come, we make no money from it please make note of that, there is a donation box but no one is there to jingle a cup.
I will leave contact info for myself and Vince DePrinzio who is the Wall Coordinator. Please please please consider doing this for our Veterans! Thank you!
I mentioned it in the Word Document but I wanted to repeat that dozens of out of work Union Carpenters, Roofers, Concrete Workers, and other trades showed up at 7 AM every morning and worked until dark and wouldn’t take anything from us but lunch! It brought tears to a lot of our eyes to see how proud they were to be working on the Wall!
For God and Country,
Harry J. Tweed
Commander – Post #184
Wildwood Vietnam Memorial Website
Address: 4500 Block Ocean Avenue, Wildwood, NJ
Thank you Commander Tweed for bringing this to the attention of SFTT and we salute you and the volunteers who honor our fallen heroes.