Memorial Day events include return of Vietnam memorial
Stephanie Milner is moved to tears as she kneels before the thousands of names etched into a traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at Spring Canyon Community Park in Fort Collins in 2013.(Photo: Coloradoan library)Buy Photo
Memorial Day events in Fort Collins this year will include the return of a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, also known as The Wall. The 360-foot long memorial is scheduled to be set up near Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado, which is part of Spring Canyon Community Park, 2626 W. Horsetooth Road. The theme for the holiday weekend is Welcome Home: A salute to our Vietnam War veterans. The traveling memorial carries the names of more than 58,000 U.S. military service members who died in the war and the more than 1,600 who are considered missing.
A replica of the memorial was last displayed in Fort Collins in 2013. That event drew about 20,000 people, said Diggs Brown, founder of Veterans Plaza and an organizer of this year s event. Even more people are expected this time, he said. The goal of the event, which will include entertainment, is to honor those who died and celebrate those who survived.
There s a lot of interest in Vietnam, Brown said. The wall is scheduled to arrive Wednesday, May 24 with an escort of local law enforcement vehicles as well as various motorcycle associations.
The memorial will be set up the following day, and the reading of names listed on the wall will begin. The reading of names will continue daily until Monday, May 29. The event will include a display of a Huey helicopter gunship and a Vietnam museum. On Saturday, May 27, festivities will include a USO show reminiscent of the entertainment provided to troops by Bob Hope, food trucks, vendors, and a beer garden. Ceremonies planned Sunday, May 28, include speakers, a Huey flyover and the addition of soil to the plaza s Victory Garden. The garden contains soil from battlefields around the world where American service members fought.
Organizers say volunteers are needed in several areas to help make Welcome Home: A salute to our Vietnam War veterans a success. Volunteer positions include helping with construction and deconstruction of the memorial wall, reading names listed on the memorial, setting up the USO show, serving beer, security and honor/color guard. For information, visit https://veteransplazanoco.org or Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado on Facebook.
How to help
Organizers of Welcome Home: A salute to our Vietnam War veterans are seeking volunteers to help with event. Donations also are welcome.
- For information on escorting the memorial and setting it up, contact Brad Jensen, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, [email protected]
- For information on reading names listed on the memorial, contact Lori Whitson, 970-396-9658.
- To participate a letter-writing effort thanking veterans for their service, contact Mary Zenzen at 970-310-8751 or [email protected]
- For general information, contact Diggs Brown at 970-980-1080 or [email protected]
Read or Share this story: http://noconow.co/2ogJ35l