BOB KELLAR | CITY OF SANTA CLARITA
This September, our community will host the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Mission, offering our residents and visitors an extraordinary opportunity to come together to honor, respect and remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country during the Vietnam war, and to educate all to the cost of freedom in America.
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The traveling Vietnam Veterans wall is a three-fifths scale of the actual Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., containing the names of fallen heroes in the Vietnam conflict. The wall stands six feet tall at the center and covers almost 300 feet from end to end. Sponsored by the Friendly Valley Veterans Club and several local businesses and agencies, the traveling wall will be here in Santa Clarita Sept. 26-29, at the Valencia Town Center, and open to the public for viewing 24 hours a day.
The Traveling Memorial stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made during the Vietnam War. It was made for the purpose of helping heal and rekindle friendships and to allow people the opportunity to visit the wall in their hometown, who otherwise may not be able to make the trip to Washington, D.C.
Santa Clarita is home to thousands of veterans. Our community has demonstrated its deep caring of our veterans over the years. Various programs, events and fundraisers for veterans have yielded help for wounded warriors and their families, including housing, social services and job support. The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Mission wall’s visit to Santa Clarita continues that tradition of care and attention to our heroes.
Each of the three evenings at 6 p.m. will include brief remarks by dignitaries and elected officials, as well as special music. On Sept. 29, a closing ceremony will be held. Local boy scouts have accepted the charge to read a list of the more than 58,000 names on the wall, spanning 24 hours a day for the four days.
To help educate our young people about the Vietnam conflict, our city and county libraries partnered with the Friendly Valley Veterans Club to host an essay contest. Students in 4th, 5th and 6th grade are competing for $1,000, $750 and $500 in scholarship money. Participants answered “Why was the Vietnam war important to America,” in 500-700 words.
New details about the Wall and ancillary events are posted regularly to the Santa Clarita Veterans Wall Facebook page. I want to personally thank the Friendly Valley Veterans Club, KHTS AM-1220, the City of Santa Clarita and our many sponsors for their incredible support of this project.
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Source: Santa Clarita News