“All gave some... Some gave all” was a message that could be seen waving briskly in the breeze on a white flag heralding the four branches of the the United States military: the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force.
The banner was one of a dozen flags flying over a replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall set up Thursday at the Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot on U.S. 84 East.
The traveling wall comes to town as part of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, the highlight of the railroad’s 16th annual Salute to the Armed Forces event. The wall arrived Wednesday and was escorted by the Patriot Guard and other veteran groups on a five-mile route from the Palestine Mall parking lot to its destination.
Janet Gregg, marketing and public relations manager for the Texas State Railroad, said workers started setting up the 360-foot wall at 8 a.m. Thursday and were finished around noon.
“We literally had half the wall set up and people were already here looking,” she said.
According to John Barron, director of operations for the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, the traveling wall makes 50 to 60 stops annually across the nation.
“The traveling Vietnam Wall is an 80 percent (sized) replica of the wall in Washington, so it's just slightly smaller than the one there,” Barron said. “It is the largest traveling replica in the country. It does have all the names... that's a total of 58,286, and that's good through Monday because they are adding a few to the wall in Washington on Monday” — Memorial Day. “I just don't know how many yet.”
Gregg said the wall is open to visitors 24 hours a day and will remain on display at the Palestine Depot through Monday.