Honoring those from Santa Barbara County who died during the Vietnam War will be the mission of the five-day visit of The Moving Wall, the original replica of the national memorial designed to honor the sacrifice of the more than 58,000 men and women who died in that conflict. It will also serve as a reminder of the 11 million who served during the Vietnam War era.
Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 218 of Santa Barbara are bringing The Moving Wall to Chase Palm Park from noon Thursday, September 29 through noon Monday, October 3, 2011. The mission of all Vietnam Veterans is that “never again will one generation of veterans abandon another” and the exhibit of The Moving Wall is one way to achieve this goal.
Photo credit David Perry. Read the rest…
The Moving Wall is viewable 24/7 during the five-day stay. The UCSB ROTC members will stand guard at The Moving Wall; it will be illuminated throughout the night and volunteer docents will be on hand to help guide visitors locate a name and provide information on the memorial itself.
Dedication ceremonies begin at noon on Saturday, October 1 followed by a fly-over of Vietnam era fixed wing aircraft and helicopters at 1 p.m. This could be the last time we will see such a large group of Huey Helicopters in formation, making this dedication ceremony very unique. There will also be a Huey parked at The Moving Wall for Saturday’s events. Major General Joseph Franklin, former Commandant of West Point and a veteran of two tours in Vietnam will be the keynote speaker. Chapter 218 will also honor and remember the 99 veterans from Santa Barbara County who were killed during the war, by reading their names aloud.
Additionally, on Sunday, October 2 at 6:30 p.m. there will be a non-denominational Candlelight Vigil to include all who wish to honor and remember our veterans – past, present and future and come together in one voice.
Hap Desimone, President of the VVA Chapter 218 said, “By providing the community with an opportunity to see it and reflect on what happened to this country, and indeed, the world from 1959 to 1975, we honor and remember all Vietnam Vets.” The Moving Wall has been here before – in 1997, again in 2001 just a few weeks after 9/11, and in 2005.
Visitors are encouraged to bring notes, artifacts, wreaths and photos to commemorate their loved ones. The Moving Wall staff will gather up all of these mementos to be carefully stored with The Moving Wall in Minneapolis.
Donations and sponsors are sought to help defray the costs of bringing The Moving Wall to Santa Barbara. Sponsorships range from $100 to $5,000. Individuals, families, businesses or organizations can also sponsor a flag at The Moving Wall for $100. When The Moving Wall comes down on Oct. 3 the flag will be presented to the sponsor. All these opportunities are online www.vvachapter218.org. You can also send a check in care of VVA #218, P.O. Box 4862, Santa Barbara, CA 93140.
Volunteer docents are also needed to help staff the exhibit while it’s here. Members of the VVA #218 and Vietnam Vets will be the first groups from where docents are sought, but any resident who wishes to help may also sign up. Shifts are three hours each and will require attendance at one of the advance training sessions for docents: Tues., Sept. 20 @ 7pm; Sat., Sept. 24 @ 10am; Tues., Sept. 27 @7pm at the Veterans Memorial Bldg., 112 W. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara. Call (805)284-6372 or Don Matter by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit the Chapter website for updates at: http://www.vvachapter218.org/