By Martha Jacob –
Most of the hard work is complete, the funds have been raised, and the event is organized and prepared for the arrival of the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall at the Georgetown Fairground next week.
A Brown County group, H.E.R.O. Tribute Committee (Helping Everyone Remember Ours) has worked diligently for well over a year to bring the traveling wall to Brown County. The display will be open to the public from May 11- 14.
The traveling wall is a 3/5 scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. It stands six feet tall at the center and covers approximately 250 feet from end to end.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund unveiled a half-scale replica of the actual Vietnam Veterans Memorial, designed to travel to communities throughout the United States.
Since its dedication,”The Wall that Heals” has visited more than 400 cities and towns throughout the nation, spreading the Memorial’s healing legacy to millions.
“We are extremely excited to have this traveling wall finally come to Brown County,” said Annette Fitzpatrick, member of the H.E.R.O. Tribute Committee. “The traveling tribute will be escorted from Fayetteville to the fairgrounds on Wednesday May 10 around 3:30 p.m.”
“We have made every effort possible to find the names and information about each of the heroes from Brown County who were killed during the Vietnam War.”
Those soldiers to be honored include:
• SP4 David Lee Bingamon (Army)
• SSgt Joe Franklin Evans (Army)
• SP4 Danny Raymond King (Army)
• SP4 Jan Bernard Wahl (Army)
• PFC Millard Preston Wheeler (Army)
• PO3 Charles Hugh Crawford (Navy)
• PFC Thomas Glenn De Fosse. (Marines)
The Wall will be in place Wednesday evening, along with dozens of exhibits, vendors, the 27 Light Artillery, the Master Modelers Traveling Museum and Chris Paul, bagpiper.
The opening ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 11 at the grandstand on the fairgrounds.
“Chaplain Bill Graybill, committee chairman for the H.E.R.O. Tribute Committee will speak,” Fitzpatrick said. “The Warbirds B-25 are planning a fly-over, weather permitting, which should be impressive to witness.”
Speakers for the opening ceremony will include Dale Cahall, Mayor of Georgetown, Keith Maupin, Vietnam Veteran with the Marine Corps, Congressman Brad Wenstrup, along with special presentations from Representative Doug Green and Senator Joe Uecker. The Master of Ceremonies for the Tribute is Steve Bernhardt.
Events planned for Friday, May 12 include a laying of the wreath ceremony, the honoring of Gold Star Mothers, a POW/MIA ceremony, guest speaker Diane Lawrence with Troop Box Ministries, a prisoner of war demonstration, Field of Crosses, and bagpiper Chris Paul.
Saturday’s events will include a H.E.R.O. Concert featuring Big Easy and the Gators, the Liberty Band, a “Brown County Killed in Action” Honor Ceremony and a luminary ceremony.
On Sunday, May 14, events will include a morning worship service with Chaplain John Baird, soloist Doug Green, congregational singing, Chris Paul, Amazing Grace, and finally a closing ceremony. All exhibits will close at 3 p.m.
“We would like to invite anyone and everyone along the Traveling Wall route on U.S. 68 on Wednesday, May 10, to show their patriotism by welcoming the caravan of vehicles as they roll towards the fairgrounds,” Fitzpatrick said.