The Moving Wall Museum visit
Honoring the memory of those lost during the Vietnam War, The Moving Museum was welcomed July 17-21, 2014 by the Sandstone, Minn. community. Following opening ceremonies on July 17, Becky Lourey spoke as an invited Gold Star Mother during local dedication ceremonies on July 19.
“We are here to remember. We are here to honor all the names on this wall. We are here to support all of their loved ones,” Becky stated in her opening remarks. “We recognize the heavy impact that this war – and all wars – have on those who suffered the loss of their loved one, and you know their loss came after months or years of holding their held breath every time they heard about another death near where their loved one was fighting … Then the relief that it wasn’t their loved one … Then the guilt that it was someone else’s loved one and that person is now mourning, and you suffer both happiness that it isn’t yours - and grief with the family who suffered the loss that day.”
Becky recalled her thoughts about her son Matt in Iraq, and actions she took on the Minnesota Senate floor leading up to the time of his loss. “When writing the resolution to not invade Iraq unilaterally, I must admit that I never thought I would lose my son in that war. Silly of me, I was thinking of saving others, and besides, Matt promised me that he wouldn’t die. Even nine years later, I know stronger than ever that we must turn our personal losses into concern and action for the rest of humankind.”
As always when she speaks at memorial ceremonies, Becky brought a message striving for peace while respectfully honoring those who lost their lives in combat. “War is a crisis when there are no other means in existence to solve a conflict. We must find a new way to deal with conflict as we ask how we are discharging our obligations to the legacy of the names on this wall.” In conclusion, Becky delivered her message with emphasis, “This is what the wall is telling us: We must listen to their stories so they may not have died in vain. May the spirit of every single one of these 58 thousand, two hundred and 53 soldiers… help us as we struggle to reduce conflict in our country and in our world!”
In October, The Moving Wall Museum will celebrate 30 years of touring. The week following the Sandstone visit, the moving exhibit remained in Minnesota traveling to Cleveland (northeast of Mankato), and was scheduled to visit Iowa, Illinois and Georgia the following month. Visits require months of planning by a committed group of local volunteers and the efforts of sponsoring civic organizations.
The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. For further information, please visit www.themovingwall.org and see the 2014 traveling schedule at www.tmwmuseum.com/the-moving-wall-schedule-2014.html.