The Moving Wall: Reflection I

By David Fleet
Holly—The faces of thousands of visitors reflected over the names of more than 58,318 Americans who lost their lives during the Vietnam War
The experience connected the past and present as the American Legion Holly Post 149 welcomed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Moving Wall, to Holly for the first time.
The half-scale model of the actual Memorial in Washington, D.C., titled “Reflections I” was brought to Holly by a committee composed of veterans, business people and citizens. The event co-chairs are Vietnam Veterans Joe Mishler and Rick Powers of the American Legion Holly Post.
Dennis Hoffman, Ortonville VFW commander visited The Moving Wall on Friday, and reflected on three area soldiers listed among the names.
“The Wall symbolizes those who sacrificed their lives will never be forgotten.,” said Hoffman.
On the July 4 weekend of 1967, an American aircraft in Vietnam mistook James Thomas Sutton and four of his fellow U.S. Marines in Vietnam as the enemy and dropped a bomb on them.
Sutton, a 1966 Brandon High School graduate survived the incident, but he wouldn’t survive the war. After more than three months in a Vietnam hospital recovering from his dislocated hip and internal injuries, he was returned to combat.
On April 17, 1968, 10 days short of the 1-year anniversary of the start of his tour, only a month before he was to return home, and two months after his 20th birthday, Lance Corporal Sutton was killed by hostile gunfire.
One month later, his body was returned home to be buried in his final resting place, the Ortonville Cemetery.
Melvin L. McArthur was just 21-years-old when he died from a roadside mine blast in Vietnam.
On Aug. 8, 1968, McArthur was killed in action when the truck he was driving hit a land mine near Quang Ngal on a return trip from a mission to his command post at Chu Lai, north of Saigon and then the capital city of South Vietnam. The 1966 graduate of Waterford Kettering High School and former Ortonville resident was to have been discharged from the Army in only three months.
Also recognized was 1965 Brandon High School graduate Army Sgt. Thomas A. Sherman.
The Moving Wall was open to the public 24/7 at the Karl Richter Campus, 300 East St., Holly. The campus is named after Air Force pilot Karl Richter, who was shot down on his 198th mission over North Vietnam. He didn’t survive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.