Punta Gorda war memorial replicates D.C. Vietnam Wall
CHARLOTTE COUNTY - A slice of Washington D.C. Is brought to the Suncoast and now its caretakers need your help for the beautification process. They call it "the wall that heals." Major General USAF (retired), Dick Carr said, "Vietnam vets have come here...looked at the wall and all of those memories start coming out."
Deep in the heart of downtown Punta Gorda sits a memorial honoring those who gave their all to our country. Carr said, "It's very special to Vietnam veterans and really, all veterans because for one thing, Charlotte County has a very large percentage of military retirees."
Carr formed a committee in 2013 to adopt a traveling wall put up for sale. He said, "We raised $625,000 and built this 50% replica of the wall in D.C." The wall was completed in 2016, as the Vietnam Wall of Southwest Florida. It honors 58,318 vets and counting, with the potential of more being added as M.I.A.'s or identified.
Carr said, "You're on the earth, you go under the earth, and then you rise from the earth, and that's why it's in this V shape." Stacy Jones, Vice President of the Vietnam Wall of Southwest Florida said one man's story made the committee's "why" that much more powerful. She said, "I came by here on a Sunday afternoon. There was a gentleman sitting over here underneath the shade trees. He was a retired veteran. He said, 'I come here and reflect and I feel guilty because all of my friends are on there and I'm not."
The committee isn't stopping there; embarking on Phase II in August with plans to beautify its entrance and add personalized tiles surrounding the park's donor plaza for any and all veterans.
If you'd like to honor a loved one, who served our country, as part of Phase II of the renovation of Veterans Park, you can purchase a tile for $250. For more information click here.