100,000 Arizonans View Vietnam Wall Experience At Mariposa Gardens
PHOENIX – Mariposa Gardens, a new cremation cemetery in Mesa, Arizona, hosted the Vietnam Wall Experience for four days from Veterans Day, November 11 through Sunday, November 14, 1999. This traveling 240-foot replica of the Memorial was displayed on the grounds of the newly opened Mariposa Gardens in Mesa, Arizona and was hosted by a variety of volunteers, including active duty and retired military personnel, members of veterans organizations, civic and citizens groups, along with the Mariposa staff. More than 100,000 people from across Arizona viewed the replica, and the four-day event included many ceremonies and activities, including an on-site blood drive sponsored by the American Red Cross. Visitors to The Wall were invited to make rubbed impressions of the names of family members or friends. A reading of names of Arizona casualties, honor guards, and memorial ceremonies topped the list of activities, along with military flyovers and special military ceremonies.
Realizing that many people will never have the opportunity to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, Service Corporation International chose to help the communities it serves by sending this replica to approximately 100 of its cemetery locations throughout the United States over a two-year period.
The replica of The Wall, produced by Habitat Inc. of Tempe, AZ, has a simulated granite surface that looks and feels like the black Indian granite used for the memorial in Washington, D.C. The process of inscribing the more than 58,000 names is the same sandblasting process used to create the original, and special care has been taken to be sure the names are accurate and up to date.
“We felt privileged to bring this unique experience to Phoenix,” said Jeanie Hendricks, General Manager of Mariposa Gardens. “And what better place than a cemetery to pay tribute to the lives lost in Vietnam, than through the 'Vietnam Wall Experience.'”
For more information, contact Mariposa Gardens at 480-830-4422.