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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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From our readers

Issue Date: September 6, 2018

Letter to Editor:

To my dear friends,

I write this not only as the co-chair of the committee that worked so long and hard to bring The Wall That Heals to Crivitz, but also as the President of the Village of Crivitz. This letter is not only to the residents of the Village of Crivitz but to all of the residents of Marinette and Menominee counties, as well as to those who came from all over Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and the United States to pay respect to those who have given their lives during their service in Vietnam and to give an hearty and sincere "Welcome Home" to our Vietnam War veterans.

Over this past weekend, The Wall That Heals was displayed at Crivitz Community Veterans Park. I was told that the attendance in Crivitz was the highest they have had in the past five years. Including the thousands of you who lined the streets and roadways of the communities the escort passed through on its way from Menominee to Crivitz and those who came to the park when The Wall That Heals arrived, there were over 25,000 people who viewed The Wall That Heals. While the number of visitors astounded us, what was more moving were the stories and tears of healing that were shed over the four days The Wall was in Crivitz. I am humbled that you turned out in such numbers and thank you for coming.

Many times during our committee meetings over the past year the comment was made the this event is "about the names", the 58,318 names of those who died as a result of their service in Vietnam and have their names inscribed on 140 panels. To be able to walk along The Wall and speak to family members, veterans and comrades of the fallen service members was moving. The stories, the tears and emotions held in by many for over 50 years that came flooding out when they found a name on The Wall moved each and every volunteer to tears as well.

The programs that were presented during the ceremonies not only honored the fallen but reached out and honored our returning Vietnam warriors, treating them in the manner returning heroes should have been treated 50 years ago. To those Vietnam veterans who say we must die to be honored for our service, I emphatically say no; the turnout and support shown during this event shows you that you are honored by your communities for risking your lives to protect the freedoms we, as Americans, cherish.

I would like to thank the area communities for their cooperation and turnout in the rain on Tuesday when the tractor and trailer carrying The Wall to Crivitz passed through your towns. I was a part of that escort and it was an emotional time to see so many people lining the streets and road sides as the escort passed through your towns. Thank you!

I would also like to thank the over 300 volunteers who staffed The Wall during its time in Crivitz. We had scheduled a limited number of people to be along The Wall. Yet many of you returned, even when you were not scheduled to be there, willingly helping any and all who were looking for a specific name on The Wall. A special thanks to those who staffed the volunteer tent, information center and/or spent their time emptying the trash and keeping the area clean. It is because of you and your volunteer efforts our fallen and returning service members were able to find peace.

To the "Core Committee" my co-chair Sally Witt and members Ginger Deschane, Glen Franzen, Bunny Peplinski, Marilyn Padgett, Dewey Sessler, Irene Bauer, Ceil Kostreva and (of course) Snake " there are not enough words to thank you for the time you spent at The Wall over the four days it was here Crivitz, as well as the time you have put in over the past year organizing, planning, and raising the necessary funds for this event to be successful. I ask any one who sees one of these individual to stop them and give them a hearty THANK YOU!

To our sponsors, those who gave monetary donations, time, equipment, and talent: because of your generous support we always knew we would have the resources to do what needed to be done to make this event a success.

To the Village of Crivitz staff: you hit it out of the park! Over the past months you have made our village shine, you answered questions, you did whatever was needed to be done to make this event the success it was.

To the School District of Crivitz: I thank you. Your generosity in the loaned equipment and people to help with this event is truly appreciated. A special thanks to the members of the Crivitz High School football team who spent all day Wednesday and Sunday afternoon assembling and disassembling The Wall. Another very special thanks goes to the Crivitz High School volleyball team who came and helped out when more help was needed.

A final heartfelt thanks goes out to Tim Tetz and Cynthia Long of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for the time and effort they put in to make this event so memorable.

There is a African proverb that says in part; "it takes a village." We have seen that in the cooperation, generosity and volunteer time that was given to make this event a success. A thank you seems insignificant to express my most heartfelt appreciation for what you have accomplished in helping to bring closure and healing to our veterans and their families during the time The Wall That Heals was in our "village."

I leave you with this final personal insight. I served in Vietnam and truly didn't realize until this time how much emotion from my time there was bottled up inside of me. The Wall and the Mobile Information Center brought it all back and I was able to finally express some of that emotion to my family and maybe my healing can now begin. I cannot express in words what that means to me. But I do now understand why it is called The Wall That Heals.

John Deschane,

Vietnam Veteran



Letter to Editor:

On behalf of the Crivitz American Legion Netzel-Zenz Post 413, we would like to thank John Deschane, Crivitz Village President, the Crivitz Business Association and other individuals and businesses who aided in bringing The Wall That Heals to our community. We, as veterans of the Armed Forces, were very honored to have had this moving event in the community.

Again, thank you to all who gave their time and energy to remember those who gave the greatest sacrifice of their lives to their country.

Sincerely,

Mark Crowley,

Commander Netzel-Zenz Post 413



Editor:

Regarding "The Wall that Heals"

Bravo to the Village of Crivitz and everyone who made it happen - John Deschane and the committee who put in many hours of service. The four days of their continued service and the volunteers who were there to help and answer questions. The four days ran very smoothly due to the organization done by the committee.

Thank you for honoring our veterans and remembering those who gave all to our country and our freedom.

Rosie Wolbrink,

Marinette


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