A traveling tribute to those who fought and fell during the Vietnam War will make a weeklong stop in Pickerington this fall.

A traveling tribute to those who fought and fell during the Vietnam War will make a weeklong stop in Pickerington this fall.

The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, a replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be on display at the David Johnston Memorial Post 283 American Legion, 7725 Refugee Road, Nov. 9- 15.

The wall is a tribute to Vietnam veterans and seeks to help heal the horrors of war for those who served, as well as rekindle friendships among veterans and educate others about the war. As a three-fifths scale model of the actual Vietnam Memorial, it stands six feet high at the center and stretches almost 300 feet from end to end.

"It's going to be at our post behind our memorial," said David England, a Post 283 member who served in the United States Air Force from 1960 to 1964. "We're looking to bring anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 people to Pickerington during the time the wall will be here."

The wall's visit will coincide with Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

England said local veterans and officials from the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce, the city, Violet Township, the Pickerington Local School District and the Fairfield County Visitors Bureau are organizing the first-of-its-kind event in Pickerington.

Currently, opening and closing ceremonies are being planned and speakers are being lined up. Setting up the wall takes about six hours and once up, it will need to be guarded 24 hours a day.

Organizers are seeking volunteers to construct and tear down the wall, as well as man computers that will help visitors locate sections bearing the names of family and friends. Other volunteers also will be needed to collect and catalog items left behind in memory of those whose names are listed on the wall.

"We want to stir interest in the community," England said. "This is no small undertaking.

"We're also in the fund-raising phase," he said. "It costs the American Legion $6,500 to get the wall here, but it also takes other costs to organize and put on the week's events."

The local American Legion has sought to bring the wall to Pickerington for about a year. The endeavor began when Post 283 member L.S. Pauley, a U.S. Army veteran who saw combat in Vietnam, contacted the Vietnam and All Veterans of Brevard, located in Brevard County, Fla., who own and maintain the wall.

"It's to honor the veterans, especially those that served during Vietnam," England said. "The wall is a place where veterans -- Vietnam veterans especially -- can heal.

"It's kind of hard to imagine that a veteran almost 40 years later still is looking to heal, but it's a long process," he said. "It takes a long time, especially for guys from Vietnam that weren't welcomed home."

People interested in learning more about the wall's November visit or volunteer opportunities are asked to call Post 283 at (614) 837-0755 or e-mail amerleg@insight-bc.com.

Additionally, members of the public are invited to attend the next organizational meeting, slated for 1 p.m. March 4 at Post 283.