The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall has arrived at Calverton National Cemetery.
The wall, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., was installed early this week and will be open to the public through Sunday. Volunteers were still hard at work Wednesday afternoon finishing the set-up of flowers and computers for visitors to look up names on the wall.
“It heals a lot of people,” said volunteer Laura Clayton of Islip.
Volunteers from local community and veterans groups faced the blazing heat to help set up flowerbeds donated by Bissett Nurseries.
“This is a passion of mine,” said Gary Miller, a member of Dignity for more than 10 years who is coordinating the construction around the memorial. “I’m not a veteran. This is my way of giving back and helping out.”
A restored Marine Corps. Sikorsky UH-34D helicopter is also on display with the wall through a separate non-profit group. The working helicopter, based out of Jamesport, served in Vietnam from 1963 to 1969. It has more than 60 patches to repair bullet holes, and took 25,000 volunteer man hours to restore.
The official opening ceremony for the wall will be held this Friday at 6 p.m.