LOCKPORT – Councilman Paul W. Siejak wants the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall to be displayed in Lockport next year.
Siejak told his colleagues at a Town Board work session Wednesday that it would be an appropriate way to mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
His goal is to have the wall set up in front of Town Hall on Flag Day weekend in June 2015.
The town would have to pay shipping costs, lodging and fuel for the wall to come from its Florida base, a total of $6,832.
Siejak said the town needs to put down a $1,000 deposit and could pay the balance next year.
“Fortunately, we have a lot of time to get it in our 2015 budget,” Supervisor Marc R. Smith said. He said the town probably should rent a tent and spread wood chips on the ground in case of wet weather.
“I think you should set aside $8,500 to $10,000,” Smith said.
Town Board members plan to review the proposal and decide whether to pursue it.
Like the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., the traveling wall bears the names of all 58,220 military personnel killed in Vietnam.
The traveling version is three-fifths of the size of the original. It’s 6 feet high, and the two wings of the V-shaped wall are each 144 feet long.
Set at an angle, they would require the town to provide a space about 300 feet long.
Siejak said the town would have to supply two volunteer guards for the wall round-the-clock.
The councilman envisions the wall arriving with a motorcycle escort on a Wednesday and being on display Thursday through Sunday.
Councilman Thomas J. Keough said that drones may be arriving at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station in about the middle of 2015 and that anti-drone protesters might come to the wall, too, “to make their point.”
However, Keough commented, “You’d be awful hard-pressed with a State Police barracks next door to make a lot of trouble.”