The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 6, 2013

Groups try to bring Wall to city: Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica may be part of ’15 rally

JOHNSTOWN — Some preliminary contacts are being made with local politicians, nonprofit directors and business owners concerning a project to bring The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to Johnstown.

Paul Rinker, a retiree, has spearheaded the effort.

One person already on board is Cambria County Commissioner Doug Lengenfelder, a former Air Force pilot with countless connections in the military community. “What I’m trying to do is get the word out to the veterans and get veterans organizations behind it, supporting it,” said Lengenfelder.

As he explained, though, “It’s really in the embryonic stage.”

A few donations already have been received.

Some banks and civic organizations have expressed interest in participating.

“In that respect, things are moving along good,” said Rinker.

Rinker is trying to raise $200 to help his organization copy and mail letters to solicit donations. “Looks like I’m going to have to do it $20 or $25 at a time,” said Rinker, who can be contacted at

420 Vine St., Apt. 2308, Johnstown, Pa. 15901-1926 or via telephone at 410-3877.

Bringing the wall to the area could cost up to an estimated $6,000 to $10,000, according to Rinker.

He would like to have the memorial in town to coincide with the 2015 Thunder in the Valley, an annual motorcycle rally held in June. The wall came to Johnstown previously in May 1988. It is currently on display in Jackson, Ala.

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Dave_Sutor.

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