Traveling Vietnam Wall replica makes stop at Murrysville Community Park
Herb Yingling of Murrysville lost his twin brother in the Vietnam War. Army Sgt. Harry Patrick Yingling was killed July 19, 1969, in Quang Nam province.
Yingling has never visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., but he got the chance on Wednesday night to visit panel 20W, line 24, and see Harry’s name at the opening ceremonies for the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall, an 80 percent scale replica of the national monument on display this week at Murrysville Community Park.
Nick Slobodnyak, who served from 1972 to 1976 as a Navy air crewman in Vietnam, drove from Cranberry to attend the opening. Slobodnyak has volunteered to work two security shifts and two volunteer shifts with the Brothers of the Wall group at the exhibit, which will be open 24 hours a day through Sunday.
“It’s important for people to remember the Vietnam War,” Slobodnyak said. “Living it helps relieve some of the memories, I think.”
Murrysville Recreation Director and Marine veteran Carly Greene said when asked why she feels bringing the exhibit to the park is important, she immediately thought of 58,318 reasons.
“That’s every name of every person on this wall,” she said. “These young people never got to fall in love, never got to get married, some of them never saw their 18th birthday or their newborn children. They made the ultimate sacrifice, and it’s our job to remember them.”
The opening ceremonies included the laying of wreaths by a group of Gold Star mothers, whose children lost their lives while serving in the military.
The exhibit will remain open through the closing ceremonies, which start at 1 p.m. Sunday. For a full schedule of events, go to Murrysville.com .
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.