Around 1pm on Wed, Sep 2, a large motorcade will be arriving in Westlake Village escorting a 3/4 scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The exhibit will be open to the public 24 hours a day to view, free of charge, from Fri Sep 4th through Mon Sep 7th.
Standing 8 ft. high, and 240 ft. long, the black, reflective surface is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam.
There are a variety of ceremonies that will take place from Wed through Mon. See full release for schedule and description.
More than 300 volunteers are helping to run this community-driven event, and at least 100 more are needed (to help with safety, hospitality, ceremonies, and construction). Those interested in volunteering, including Boy Scouts, vets and anyone wanting to help, should contact Sue Wolhaupter (email@example.com) or Theresa Heyes (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Full Press Release
The Dignity Memorial® Vietnam Wall, a three-quarter-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be open for public viewing over Labor Day weekend, September 4-7, 2009, at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, 5600 Lindero Canyon Rd., Westlake Village, CA 91362.
?The monument was created as a service to those who might never travel to the nation?s capital to experience the Vietnam Wall firsthand,? said Jim Biby, market director of the Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers in the Los Angeles area. ?Our replica offers visitors a chance for healing and reflections, and we are very pleased to be able to share it with the community.?
Free and open to the public 24 hours a day from Friday, September 4 through Monday, September 7, the replica is eight feet high and 240 feet long. Its black, reflective surface is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam. Paper and pencils will be provided so visitors can make rubbings of names etched on the wall. The Dignity Memorial provider network created the replica in 1990. The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall is dedicated to all Americans who served in Vietnam and honors all veterans of the U.S. military.
Activities and ceremonies planned in conjunction with the exhibition include the following:
* A motorcade of veterans and other riders from motorcycle clubs will depart Bakersfield, CA on Wednesday, September 2 at 9:30 a.m. The riders will stop in Santa Clarita, CA to meet up with additional riders and leave at approximately 12 p.m. to escort the wall to Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, where it is scheduled to arrive at 1 p.m.
* The Purple Heart ceremony will take place on Wednesday, September 2 at 2 p.m. as the first two pieces of the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall are put together. All Purple Heart recipients are welcome to attend.
* The Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday, September 4 at 10 a.m. During the ceremony, speakers will include Daniel Smith III, USMC, retired, Chairman, Board of Directors, Memorial Honor Detail; Jim Biby, market director of the Dignity Memorial provider network; and keynote speaker Gill Gallo, director of Riverside National Cemetery. The ceremony will also include a Huey helicopter dropping rose petals.
* On Saturday, September 5, a candlelight ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. The service will feature performances by Rev. Donald Siler, pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church and lead singer of ?The Truth? International Gospel Group, and Pat Brown, actress and gospel singer. Additionally, John Hosier will give a keynote address followed by the lighting of the candles.
* Beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 6, an afternoon concert of singing will feature Bridge of Sighs, members of Join The Band, and other groups.
* The Closing Ceremony will occur on Monday, September 7 at 10 a.m. with a keynote address by Cynthia Nunez, Director of the Los Angeles National Cemetery. The service will feature a musical performance by Mark Taylor. Following the service, the replica wall will be taken down.
The three-day exhibition is sponsored locally by Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks – Griffin Memorial Park, Mortuary and Crematory, FD 1344 Westlake Village, Calif., with kind support from Morningstar Productions, Roxbury Records, SMS Generators, The Ventura County Star and The Acorn newspapers, Corridor Communications, Inc., KadyTV.com, Thousand Oaks Printing, Market Wire, the Four Seasons Hotel, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Westlake Village Inn, Arrowhead Water, Jon Gordon Photography, Marla Aufmuth Photography, Pelican Junction, Kents Bromeliads, Trader Joes, Command Performance, Valley Crest, J H Russell, and Do it Center. Volunteers are needed to read the names on the wall overnight. To volunteer, please call Ann at 818-292-8430. Please see our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/DignityMemorialVietnamWall?ref=search
After Westlake Village, Calif., the monument will be on display in Phoenix from September 18-20, 2009. To date, the replica has traveled to more than 200 cities across the country and has been visited by millions of Americans.
The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall is one of many efforts of the Dignity Memorial network to honor and support our nation?s veterans and active military. Other initiatives and programs include the Veterans Planning Guide, the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program, educational veterans? seminars and special pricing and benefits for members of three veterans service organizations.
Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks – Griffin Memorial Park, Mortuary and Crematory is a proud Dignity Memorial provider in Westlake Village, Calif. The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America?s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence. For more information, call 818-889-0902 or visit http://www.DignityMemorial.com