WILDWOOD- The late president of the Wildwood chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America dreamed of constructing a permanent Vietnam Memorial Wall in the resort and now, two years after his passing, that dream is finally coming true.
Members of the Wildwood Carpenters Union and employees of Troiano and Sons Concrete and Masonry Contractors are hard at work building what will become a half size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
It's a dream come true thought up by the late president of the local chapter of Vietnam Veterans, put into action by his comrades and fulfilled by generous donations. Treasurer of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 955 of Wildwood, Vincent DePrinzio said, "Other than Washington, it's one of a kind in 11 months we raised $126 thousand dollars. The dream comes true."
And they owe it all to these volunteers. "There's 58 thousand guys plus that are on this wall you know, we're here because of those guys this is just my way of saying thank you," said Ernie Troiano, Jr. Of Troiano and Sons Concrete and Masonry Contractors.
Granite panels, exactly like the ones in Washington D.C. will soon stand tall giving residents, visitors and veterans a place to reflect and give thanks to all who gave their life. "It's not just a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, this wall represents every war, every man and woman who gave their life for the country," said DePrinzio.
With only a few weeks left to finish construction, and nearly $75 thousand dollars still needed to be raised, veterans are already counting down to its completion. "The biggest thing after all these years, people are starting in United States to realize what we went through I hope I can speak for every veteran we certainly appreciate it," said Vietnam Veteran, Ron Grunsby.
The Vietnam Wall replica should be completed in time for the dedication ceremony May 29th where ten to fifteen thousand people are expected to attend and then celebrate our heroes all night long.
The dedication begins at noon sharp May 29th and a "Celebration of Heroes Festival" runs through ten o'clock that night.