Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall set to arrive in NW Ohio
It's an effort that has been in the works for nearly three years...and this week, the Vietnam Veteran's Moving Wall will arrive for display in Northwest Ohio.
Depot Park in Elmore will host the Moving Wall starting this Thursday. The Wall will depart on Monday on its journey to a new location.
Ron Distel, who served in Vietnam and is the commissioner of the Ottawa County Veteranâ??s Service Commission, is coordinating the effort...which started with a question from Elmore's Mayor, Lowell Krumnow a few years ago.
"The Mayor asked me 'Why don't we do something to honor our Veterans?', and that's what got it started." Distel said.
"I contacted the Moving Wall a few years ago and we were denied." he continued, saying they were later offered a date in April of 2011. But worries over the state of the weather in NW Ohio in April ruled out that date.
"Then a couple days before Christmas last year, they called and said 'How about the second week of August?'. I said 'yes' right away".
Plans for the arrival of the Wall started immediately. Once a location was arranged...then it was a matter of coordinating the building of a temporary foundation to hold the wall up during its visit.
Donations toward the effort started pouring in...and a host of volunteers have been working to have everything ready for Thursday's arrival.
"The way people have rallied around the Wall coming to NW Ohio is amazing. I've been getting calls from all over NW Ohio from people who are wanting to come and see it." Distel said.
On Thursday, the Wall will travel, escorted by Veteran's motorcycle groups and law enforcement, from Port Clinton starting at 10am.
It will pass through the business district of Oak Harbor down SR 163 on its way into Genoa, where it will be greeted by local law enforcement and firefighters as it rolls through town.
It will then turn down SR 51 to be greeted by the people of Elmore between 11am and 11:30am as it moves to Depot Park to be setup for display.
NW Ohio residents are invited to honor the Wall as it moves along its journey.
An opening ceremony is then scheduled for 3pm at Depot Park once the Wall's setup is complete.
Distel says that the Wall has an amazing effect on those who see it.
"It's a healing experience...hallowed ground. A piece of our life that we left over there. All of us have buddies whose names are on that wall."
Have you seen the Vietnam Veteran's Wall in D.C.? Have you seen the Moving Wall before? What do you think of this moving tribute to our Vietnam Veterans?