Stillwater News Press

Our World

November 14, 2013

'Wonderful tribute': Governor commends Enid after visit to Vietnam Memorial Wall

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin stooped to pick up a dog tag left behind from the Veterans Day dedication of the Vietnam Memorial Wall and gingerly placed it in a time capsule Wednesday evening.

The capsule won’t be opened again until the year 2100.

Fallin stopped to visit the wall, which was dedicated at Enid Woodring Regional Airport on Monday, before continuing on to the 2013 Grand National Quail Hunt reception at Oakwood Country Club.

She was joined by her husband, Wade Christensen, as the two were greeted by David Henneke, president of the Woodring Wall of Honor Board of Directors, and Elaine Johns, its executive director. Enid Mayor Bill Shewey also was present to receive the governor.

Fallin was unable to attend the unveiling of the memorial on Veterans Day, and this was her first chance to see it in person.

Henneke explained how the Wall of Honor will continue to add to Veterans Park around the Vietnam Memorial Wall, and Fallin ended her visit by closing the time capsule. Inside will be the I.D. tag, several other items left behind from the ceremony and a copy of a legislative resolution declaring that the wall is Oklahoma’s official tribute to those who served in the Vietnam War. State Sen. Patrick Anderson and Reps. Mike Jackson and John Enns, who each represent the Enid area at the state Capitol, drafted the resolution.

The wall is an 80-percent scale replica of the black granite memorial found in Washington, D.C. Previously it was a traveling memorial, and visited more than 200 locations across the United States before a collection of private donors helped bring it to Enid permanently.

Along the anodized aluminum wall are the names of almost 60,000 people who were killed or declared missing in action during the conflict.

“I was reading the ages of the people on this wall, and it was just remarkable how young they were,” Fallin told Henneke.

Even though the memorial is four-fifths the size of the Washington memorial, Fallin remarked at its stature.

“It was absolutely stunning to walk up to this Vietnam Memorial Wall and to see how huge it is,” she said.

Fallin commended Enid for banding together to bring the wall here, and to provide a solemn place for Oklahomans to reflect on the Vietnam conflict. Donors raised more than $400,000 to purchase the wall from American Veterans Traveling Tribute, and display it at the entrance to the airport.

“To know that the community of Enid has worked so very hard to pay such a great tribute to our Vietnam veterans and those who were lost during the Vietnam War, it’s just a wonderful gift not only to the veterans community, but to the state of Oklahoma,” she said. “It will be a nice tribute so that we never forget the freedoms that we have today and those who gave their lives so we could live in freedom.”

The Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park will be open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day and is free to visit.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Stocks
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)