Ada Custom Memorials has been working with S.I. Memorials in Kansas and Pittsburg State University to create a half-scale copy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
“There were 70 panels and it ended up being about 240 ft. long,” Boadie Anderson of Ada Custom Memorials said.
Boadie and his brother John said their company is in charge of inscribing around 58,000 names onto black granite panels with their lazer etching machine.
“The veterans association supplied all those names,” Boadie said. “There were 35 east panels and 35 west panels. On each panel, there are two columns of names.”
Once completed, Boadie said, the wall will become one of three permanent Vietnam memorial walls in existence.
“There are three traveling walls that are portable,” he said. “We really wanted to have this all done and installed by Veterans Day so we were etching day and night.”
“It’s neat seeing civic projects and seeing veterans come in,” John said.
The brothers said working on war memorials is a special task to them.
“We love doing war memorials. We’ve done more and more over the past five years,” Boadie said. “It’s not that you’re not reverent when you’re doing other monuments but this is a different deal.”
Pittsburg State University workers began putting up the newly inscribed slabs at the campus in Kansas on Oct. 26 to replace a steel replica that has seen some wear and tear.
“By lazer etching the names into the granite, it lasts forever,” Boadie said.
He said the memorial should stand for a long time ahead, reminding future generations of the sacrifices made by the veterans of the Vietnam war.
“It’s a mark of history. They made their mark and I guess we’re just preserving their mark,” John said.
“They did all the tough work,” Boadie said.