Fullerton College welcomed the Global War on Terror Wall of Remembrance to the campus Quad on Monday, Nov. 4. The wall serves as a traveling memorial to pay tribute to soldiers and civilians that have died due to the War on Terror.
On one side, the wall educates viewers with a giant, full color timeline that begins in 1983 and ends at present day. On the other side, the wall lists over 10,000 names including those who died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and fallen armed service members over the last 30 years.
The memorial wall was founded by Richard Nichols Jr. and designed by David Brown. The wall made its debut in Anaheim on September 2011, on the 10th year anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center.
Since then, the wall has traveled over 85,000 miles and to 35 states transported primarily with a truck and trailer by driver and curator Derek Hendershot.
Hendershot says that the best part of curating the wall is the drive in that takes place before each set up. Local veterans ride up with their motorcycles to pay a ceremonial tribute to the names on the wall.
“When we do this, we are escorting our fallen in. This becomes a sacred ground,” Hendershot said. “I know most people don’t understand that but to [veterans] that wall, that whole vicinity is sacred ground.”
The wall itself takes around 2 hours to set up and consists of 32 panels.
Once standing, the wall impacted and sparked interest of those who passed by until dusk on Thursday, Nov. 4.
“I think it’s good that the school takes the initiative to remember all these good people that defended our nation for many, many years,” Fullerton College student Carlos Bahena said.
A final candle lighting ceremony took place just before the wall was taken down and taken to its next location.
As this memorial continues to grow and see more locations, Hendershot hopes that a new wall is on its way to raise more awareness about the mental illness that many veterans continue to deal with every day.
“We want to combat the mental side and pain of veteran suicides, which are 22 a day,” Hendershot said. “This wall is like a front porch; it brings out resources and allows people to heal.”
Until then, the wall will continue to bring people and veterans alike together to pay tribute to those who were lost defending the nation or as victims of acts of terror, and travel wherever it can find a safe environment.