Replica Vietnam Memorial Wall at College of DuPage honors veterans 

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A tribute honoring service members who died in the Vietnam War is now on display at the College of DuPage.

“We’ve got the most wonderful opportunity and experience of a lifetime for people to come and see the Vietnam Wall. This wall is just a marvelous opportunity for them to see it here in Glen Ellyn and it’s the first time it has ever been here and perhaps the last time,” said Mike Formento, commander of the American Legion Post 3.

Bringing the replica Vietnam Memorial Wall and the Wall of Honor to COD

The replica, by the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, is a 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It stands six feet tall at the center and covers nearly 300 feet from end to end, holding over 58,000 names.

Also on view is the Wall of Honor, which features exhibits honoring fallen service members from Operation Desert Shield to the present, the lives lost during 9/11, and artwork illustrating the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

“It’s just mind-blowing how many people really died over there, you know? And then when you have the other walls, how many people had sacrificed their lives to keep us free,” said Emery Ague, commander of the VFW Post 6663.

Mike Formento and the American Legion Post 3 led the charge in bringing the replica wall to DuPage County, alongside the VFW Post 6663, the Village of Glen Ellyn, and the College of DuPage.

“College of DuPage serves as a resource in a number of ways to a number of communities in District 502, which is DuPage County. So this for us offered another extension of that, offering folks an opportunity to come visit these really important monuments, replicas, this exhibit, which really represents some pivotal moments in American history,” said Jennifer Duda, senior manager of the news bureau at College of DuPage.

College of DuPage hosting a welcome ceremony

The wall will remain at COD through June 2. Community members can visit the wall from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Parking Lot C on the main campus.

A welcome ceremony will be held at the wall on June 1 at 11:00 a.m. featuring COD president Dr. Brian Caputo, Glen Ellyn Village president Mark Senak, and State Representative Amy Grant. The Proviso East Marching Band and Glen Ellyn Fire Department color guard will also deliver a musical presentation.

“It’s an opportunity, again, as I say, for people to really see and understand the men and women who gave their lives for the freedom in this country,” said Formento.

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