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Membership Notes, March/April 2019

The Enid Wall: A ‘Great Thing’

Courtesy Woodring Wall of Honor

In recent issues we have chronicled the small but growing movement to install replicas of the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial in towns and cities throughout the country. We’ve looked at replica Walls in Dinuba, California; Tupelo, Mississippi; Wildwood, New Jersey; and, most recently, in Layton, Utah.

In this issue we’re focusing on the eighty-percent replica dedicated in Enid, Oklahoma, on Veterans Day 2013 before a crowd of more than 2,500 people. That replica Wall at the Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park adjacent to Enid’s Woodring Regional Airport is unique in that it has been designated Oklahoma’s official memorial honoring Vietnam War veterans.

On April 29, 2013, the Oklahoma State Legislature’s Joint Resolution No. 4 made it official. The resolution reads, in part:

“Whereas, bringing the wall to Enid has been a communitywide effort involving individuals, businesses, and organizations; and Whereas, the wall… contains 58,272 names of those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War, including 16 from Enid, Oklahoma… The Legislature of the State of Oklahoma declares the [Wall] as the State of Oklahoma’s official Vietnam War Memorial.”

The high-gloss, anodized aluminum Wall is some 380 feet long and stands eight feet high at its apex. It’s open to the public from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day of the year. It began life as one of a group of replica Walls built by the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) organization in Bullard, Texas. When officials in the city of Enid—which is about a hundred miles north of Oklahoma City and is the home of Vance Air Force Base—learned that that particular replica Wall was being retired, they formed a committee to raise the money to buy it and have it installed permanently in Enid.


Chapter 360 in Enid played a crucial role in that process. “They were very instrumental in helping us connect with other VVA chapters in the state,” said Woodring Hall of Honor and Veterans Park Executive Director Elaine Johns, including “paving the way for us to speak about The Wall at the 2012 Oklahoma State Council Conference.”

Soon after Johns made her case for the Wall at the conference, the Oklahoma State Council and chapters throughout the state enthusiastically got onboard to help make the memorial—which includes the names of the 987 Oklahomans who lost their lives in the war—a reality.

“We all supported it; it was a big deal,” said VVA Board Member Pete Peterson, a former president of Oklahoma City Chapter 291 who served as chair of the Oklahoma Veterans Council at the time. “The Veterans Council, which was made up of representatives of twenty-three veterans service organizations in the state, got behind it, and lobbied all the legislators. Not one of them said no.”

Soon funds started coming in from the city of Enid, as well as from individuals, businesses, and nonprofits throughout the state. VVA’s Lawton Chapter 751 and Oklahoma City Chapter 291 are among those on the Wall’s $1,000-plus donors list. In all, more than $500,000 was raised to purchase the Wall from the AVVT.

“We had Vietnam veterans monuments in the state capital and throughout Oklahoma, but not a Wall,” Pete Peterson said. “The Memorial in Enid is a great thing.”





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