Veterans and active members of America’s armed services travel great distances and make great sacrifices to preserve and protect freedom and liberty.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT), a veteran-owned project committed to traveling the USA to honor, respect and remember those who served in America’s armed services, will visit Toledo June 5-9.
The Traveling Wall will arrive at Toledo Express Airport at 3 p.m. on June 5 and a motorcycle escort will then accompany the exhibit to International Park in East Toledo.
The Traveling Wall will be available for viewing at International Park from noon June 6 through 3 p.m. June 9. It will be open 24 hours day. Vintage vehicles will be display throughout the exhibit; a Huey Helicopter will be at the park June 7 and 8.
The Traveling Wall is an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Across its 360-foot length, the wall contains all the names etched on the original monument. At its apex, the memorial is an impressive eight-feet tall.
To kick off the event, the community is invited to attend a Welcome Home Celebration and Honor Roll Call June 5 at 7 p.m. at Savage Hall on the University of Toledo campus. There is no charge to attend.
Other highlights of the wall’s visit include:
• Mud Hens Vietnam Era Night at the Mud Hens, June 6, 7-9 p.m. Admission is free for Vietnam era veterans who present their DD214.
• On June 7 at noon, an unveiling ceremony will be held for a bronze plaque recognizing local Vietnam era veterans at the All Wars Memorial in The Civic Center Mall in downtown Toledo. From 7-9 p.m., there will be a concert in the International Park gazebo.
• On June 8 at 9 a.m., a Motorcycle Ride/Salute will begin at the Toledo Harley Davidson located at 7960 W. Central Ave. Toledo. Staging begins at 6 a.m. Kick stands up at 8 a.m. From 5-7:30 p.m., a Vietnam era veterans’ spaghetti dinner will be held at Forrester’s on the River at The Docks (DD214 form required).
• On June 9, a Sunrise Remembrance Service will be held at 7 a.m. at International Park. A pancake breakfast will be held from 8-10 a.m. at Forrester’s on the River. The Traveling Wall will be taken down at 3 p.m.
All times are subject to change. For a full list of events, visit www.toledoveteransevent.com. Area residents are invited to share their Vietnam Era stories on Facebook at “Toledo Ohio Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Event.”
The focus is celebrating the freedom purchased by men and women who sacrificed their lives,” said Don Allen, one of the AVTT organizers. “We are a tribute to all who stood up for America. They served. They gave their lives for our freedom. We will not forget.”