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First Memorial Bricks Laid
Since its inception, The National Vietnam War Museum has offered the sale of engraved memorial bricks as a fundraising project. To date, almost 400 bricks have been purchased, and with the opening of the Meditation Garden, on June 2, 2007, the museum finally has a place for these to be displayed. Bricks have been purchased by individuals and groups, and they can now see the finished product when they visit the garden. The largest purchase to date was a group of 54 bricks by members of the 116th Aviation Company, to honor their comrades who lost their lives while serving with the unit in Vietnam.
The bricks are made for the museum by Acme Brick in Denton, Texas, and all the installation work is done by volunteers. The laying of the first bricks was done on August 13, 2007, near the start of one of the labyrinth trails. Areas are set aside in the garden, alongside the trails so that as additional bricks are purchased, they can be engraved and installed in manageable sized groups.
The original concept was to use these bricks as paving for walks in the gardens, but the Board of Directors felt that because of their memorial nature, they should be placed in areas alongside the walkways so they would not be subjected to continual foot traffic.
The memorial brick project will be an ongoing museum activity, and as the areas set aside in the Meditation Garden are filled, bricks will begin to be placed in other gardens as well.
Now that the Meditation Garden is complete, the next project is the development of the Vietnam Memorial Garden, which will contain a one-half scale replica of the Moving Wall, which was brought to Mineral Wells in July, 1998 by the museum. In addition, the Vietnam Garden will include flags representing all the branches of service, and places to rest and contemplate along the path fronting the wall.
For those wishing to visit the site, the Meditation Garden is located on the museum property at 12685 Mineral Wells Highway (U.S. Highway 180), at the Parker County, Palo Pinto County line.
For more information regarding the museum or the development projects, contact the museum at P.O. Box 146, Mineral Wells, Texas 76068-0146, or online at www.nationalvnwarmuseum.org.
Examples of the engraved bricks Volunteers installing the first brick sections
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