Tri-State Vietnam Memorial Wall on display at Minot air museum
Visitors to the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot have the opportunity to see the Tri-State Vietnam Memorial Wall on display there this season.
Comprised of 39 panels, The Wall is a rendition of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., and is a project of the Fargo Air Museum.
It is being presented at the Minot air museum in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Disabled American Veterans.
“It is a great honor for us at the museum to have The Wall here and honor the veterans,” said Robin Brekhus, air museum events coordinator.
A Battlefield cross, built by Dave Smith for the Disabled American Veterans, is displayed with The Wall. Smith is a member of the DAV, Chapter 4, of Minot.
The Battlefield cross includes helmet, dog tags, rifle, boots and a Bible open to Psalm 23. It is a military memorial symbolizing the honor, service and sacrifices of soldiers killed in battle.
“The Tri-State Vietnam Memorial Wall is a lasting tribute to the 1,465 soldiers from our area that fought and died to uphold the freedom on which our country was founded. Their names are listed by the soldier’s hometown, name, rank and branch of service. May they rest in peace in our hearts and in our prayers,” states the Tri-State Vietnam Memorial Wall website.
According to the information, the Tri-State Vietnam Memorial Wall was the idea of Fargo Air Museum volunteer Doug Anderson of Fargo. Doug and Gerry Beck of Wahpeton designed and drew the plans. With the help of Tim McPherson of Page they fabricated and welded the panels at Gerry Beck’s airplane restoration shop. Many Vietnam veterans and Fargo Air Museum volunteers donated many hours to the project. Dave Marchus of Accent Signs installed each of the names. The Wall is made of thin, aluminum, formed and welded together and filled with Styrofoam insulation. The panels were powder-coated for durability and mounted on a wooden base.
Brekhus said a Victory over Japan Day commemorative ceremony, sponsored by the Dakota Territory Air Museum and Disabled American Veterans, will be held at the air museum on Aug. 15. Also known as V-J Day, it is the day when Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, in effect bringing the war to an end.
The air museum’s also making plans to hold Wings & Wheels on July 15. The event will include the Dakota Cruisers Car Club featuring their vehicles.
“We’re having it unless we can’t,” said Brekhus, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.
The air museum is tentatively planning its “Woman, Wine & Wings” event in September and “Night at the Museum” in October.
The Tri-State Vietnam Memorial Wall will be displayed at the air museum until it closes for the season Oct. 18. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.