Moving Wall Memorial Opens This Thursday - The Missourian: News

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Moving Wall Memorial Opens This Thursday

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Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 8:20 am

The Moving Wall, hosted by Friends of Vietnam Veterans, will be on display at the Washington Fairgrounds this Thursday, Sept. 19, beginning at noon.

It will be open to the public through Monday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m.

The Moving Wall is a scaled replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

Each of the two walls that make up one structure is 126.2 feet long, for a total of 252.4 feet.

Inscribed on the wall are the names of more than 58,000 veterans who gave their lives or remain missing. More than 20 Franklin County service members were killed in the war, including one from Washington.

The display is free and open 24 hours through the five-day event.

Schedule

A kick-off for The Moving Wall is planned for Thursday at 8 a.m. with a short welcome event at the Vietnam Memorial in Krog Park. A parade escort to the fairgrounds, where The Wall will be erected, will follow the ceremony.

The escort will begin at approximately 8:15 a.m. The route will be along Fifth Street to Grand Avenue.

Opening ceremonies will take place Thursday at 6 p.m.

During the opening ceremony, Neal E. Boyd, the 2008 “America’s Got Talent” winner will sing the national anthem. The guest speaker will be retired Col. Jack Jackson of St. Albans.

On Friday morning, Sept. 20, at sunrise, St. Francis Borgia Regional High School student Joe Schaefer will play “Reveille” while the flag is being raised.

Middle school and high school students will visit The Moving Wall Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At 6 p.m. Friday, a POW/MIA (Prisoners of War/ Missing in Action) tribute will be held.

The tribute will feature the U.S. Air Force Color Guard and guest speaker James R. Mueller, past national commander in chief of the VFW.

Saturday’s program, “Ride to The Wall,” will feature the Legion Riders and other organizations leading a ride to The Wall.

Riders will meet at N-Sports Rec Center off Highway 100 in Washington at noon and ride to The Wall. The riders take Highway 100 to Fifth Street to Grand Avenue, which they will follow to North Park Drive. All riders are welcome.

Saturday’s program begins at 1 p.m. The guest speaker is Thomas Mundell, VFW Department of Missouri commander.

The following day, Sunday, Sept. 22, will feature a fraternal organization salute to The Wall. Organizations that will participate include the Washington Fire Department, Washington Police Department, Washington Elks BPO Lodge 1559 and Washington Knights of Columbus Father Seisl Council 1121.

American Legion Department Commander Tom Goodin will speak Sunday at 1 p.m.

The closing ceremonies will take place Monday, Sept. 23, at 1 p.m.

Joseph J. Frank, American Legion past national commander, will speak at the closing ceremony. Our Lady of Lourdes students will sing the national anthem.

As part of the closing ceremony, “Wish Upon A Dove,” a dove will be released.

Veteran Services

Service organizations will be on site each day to help veterans learn about benefits available to them.

The St. Louis Veterans Center also will be on site the entire duration of the event (24 hours each day) to offer services as well as local mental health professionals with defense department certification to offer assistance to anyone in need.

Military vehicles will be on display all five days, as well as “Through the Eyes,” a Vietnam era exhibit designed to honor the men and women who lost their lives and served in the Vietnam War.

The exhibit presents images of military personnel as well as the items carried and used during a veteran’s time in Vietnam.

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