HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The Pennsylvania Farm Show does its part honoring our military. There’s an entire day devoted to them. But new this year is a way for veterans to be recognized and remembered. It’s the veterans wall.
Sharon Myers is the executive director of the Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. She came up with the idea to put together the display.
“The map was created to allow every veteran that comes through to look at their county and then mark the county that they’re from as well as place a note on it to give a little information on themselves,” Myers said, “or to make sure we’re engaging family members as well. So, if they’ve lost a veteran, they can place a little note on there to their veteran that has passed.”
Visitors to the Farm Show have been able to look at the map and see just how many veterans have passed through these doors. It’s also a great way for the veterans to share their stories and see how much they’re appreciated.
The Vietnam Veterans Association has pitched in to staff the display. They say it’s great therapy to be able to talk with fellow vets.
For Myers, this is more than a project, it’s personal. Her father, Richard Martin Sietz, was in the Navy. He was killed in Vietnam in 1967, one month before she was born. He was just 21 years old. He has been her inspiration.
“He’s been a very strong push behind me my entire life, guiding me every step of the way, even through this project,” she said, “He too loved to give recognition to the veterans, and I could just feel he was helping me walk through this.”
When this project began, no one was sure how interactive this would be. So many people have stopped by to leave their mark, the map is covered. They’ve even had to clear the messages at the end of the day to leave room for new ones.
The veterans wall is right across from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Veterans who stop by the wall are then directed to sign up for military benefits many didn’t even know they were entitled to.