Local Vietnam War veteran Brian Finney is organizing an escort for the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall.
The escort will meet at the Fayette County Fairgrounds this Wednesday at 3 p.m. It will include motorcycle riders from American Legion Post 25 and VFW 3762, along with other motorcycle groups, car clubs and individuals. All are welcome to join the escort.
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is a four-fifths scale recreation of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. It is eight feet tall and 360 feet long.
“This traveling memorial stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made during the Vietnam War. It was made for the purpose of helping to heal, rekindle friendships, and to allow people the opportunity to visit loved ones in their hometown who otherwise may not be able to make the trip to Washington,” according to a brochure for the wall.
The Wednesday escort will launch several days of memorial-related activities in Chillicothe. On Thursday, the wall will be open to the public at 11 a.m., and there will be an official opening ceremony at noon. This will be followed by wreath laying, a bagpipe tribute, and a guitar tribute.
On Thursday morning, volunteers who are physically able to do so are asked to arrive at the VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe at 8 a.m. to help set up the wall. Twenty volunteers are needed.
On Friday, the Paint Valley JROTC Drill Team and the Great Seal of Ohio Band will perform during the afternoon. At 6 p.m., there will be a POW-MIA Tribute Ceremony. This will be followed, at 8 p.m., by an “In Their Honor” Candlelight vigil and moment of silence and a bagpipe performance.
Saturday will begin with an Agent Orange Townhall meeting in Auditorium Building #9 at 9 a.m. During this town hall, veterans can learn about the negative health consequences Agent Orange exposure can lead to and can learn how to file for the benefits to which they are entitled. The town hall will be followed at 11 a.m. by a veteran suicide awareness ceremony in building #31.
At 1 p.m., there will be the daily ceremony that includes the national anthem, the pledge of allegiance, and a keynote speaker. This will be followed at 3 p.m. by the Rolling Thunder Program and the Aladdin Shrine Bagpipes and Drum tribute. At 6 p.m., there will be a Gold Star Mothers Ceremony and, at 6:30p.m., a performance of Going Home/Amazing Grace.
On Sunday, there will be a Sunday service and a closing ceremony. The wall will close at 2:30 p.m.
Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124 or @MeganNeary2