Since early this year, the village of Elmore has been gearing up to host the Vietnam Combat Veterans Moving Wall – a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. – which will be on display in Depot Park Aug. 9 through 13.
Wheels are also in motion for a Family Bicycle Ride event to be held in conjunction with the event and to help raise funds to pay for costs associated with bringing the Moving Wall to town.
The ride, set for Aug. 11, is being sponsored by the Elmore Chamber of Commerce, Fremont Cycle & Fitness, the Sandusky County Parks District and Road Soldiers Cycling Club, an adjunct to the Ohio Veterans Home.
The ride will start and finish at Elmore Cycle & Fitness, 453 Maple St. The route, which is safe for young riders, will traverse the scenic North Coast Inland Trail and back to Elmore Cycle & Fitness. Patrol support will be provided at each road crossing and intersection, sponsored by Road Soldiers and the Sandusky County Park District. Water stops will be available at the Lindsey and the Walter Avenue trail heads. Volunteer support for cyclists will be available along the North Coast Inland Trail between Elmore and the west side of Fremont.
Participants may choose a “Mile of Silence” option that traverses about a mile, a 10-mile route that travels a round trip to Lindsey or a 20-mile route to Fremont’s Walter Avenue Trail Head.
The Mile of Silence route is being planned to honor the area’s service men and women. Riders and members of the community are invited to place a memorial flag along the route and riders who pass by are asked to remain silent throughout the four miles as a show of respect and support for community members and their honored loved ones.
At the conclusion of the ride, participants are invited to visit the Traveling Vietnam Veteran Wall and enjoy a gospel concert and other events being planned in Depot Park.
Registration for the event will be from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Ride support available between 2 and 4:30. The registration fee is $15 for adults and $10 children 12 and under, who must be accompanied by an adult to participate. Helmets are required.
The signup fee includes a water bottle, remembrance flag and dinner.
All proceeds raised from the event will go directly to the Traveling Wall fund. Visit www.fremontcycleandfitness.com for full directions.
“We’re hoping families will participate in the ride and then stop to visit the Moving Wall, and enjoy the other events being planned in conjunction with the monument’s visit,” said JoAnn Wegert. “What the Wall represents is an important part of our history, something parents should encourage their kids to see and learn about.”
The Moving Wall will arrive in Elmore at approximately 11:15 a.m. Aug. 9, accompanied by nearly 250 vehicles including six veterans’ motorcycle groups and state and local law enforcement vehicles. Earlier that morning, the display will travel from Port Clinton through the Oak Harbor and Genoa business districts. Opening ceremonies will be held at the park at 3 p.m.
Throughout the exhibit’s stay, volunteers from area veterans’ groups and the community have ledgers to help visitors find names engraved on the wall. Escorts will be also available for those who need help. Visitors will be provided with a carpenter’s crayon and paper should they choose to transfer a name on the wall for a keepsake.
The site will be lighted and security will be provided 24 hours a day. Tents will provide protection from sun and inclement weather. Closing ceremonies will be held Aug. 13 at 2 p.m.
For more information about the Moving Wall’s visit to Elmore, contact Ron Distel at 419-862-2344 or email thewall.aug9¬firstname.lastname@example.org. To make donations to help support the Wall’s visit, send checks payable to Elmore American Legion Community Post #279, who is hosting the event, to Ron Distel, 2010 S. Nissen Rd., Elmore OH 43416.