“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 Kenton Woods, president of Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary, a Dignity Memorial provider. “Our replica offers visitors a chance for healing and reflection. We are pleased to be able to share it with the community especially in conjunction with California’s first Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”
Free and open to the public 24 hours a day, 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.
A member of the clergy will offer a blessing daily at the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall and “Taps” will be performed at sunset each evening. Names from the replica wall will be read weekdays from 4pm to midnight and on Saturday and Sunday from 6am to midnight. Activities and ceremonies planned in conjunction with the event include the following:
• A motorcade of veterans and other riders from motorcycle clubs will escort the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall from the Arizona/California border into Whittier on Sunday, March 21¬– estimated arrival is 2pm.
• A Purple Heart ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 21 as the first two pieces of the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall are put together. All Purple Heart recipients are welcome.
• Opening ceremony will take place Tuesday, March 23. A prelude concert by The Air Force Quintet will start at 4pm.
• On Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26, Rose Hills will sponsor two education days with activities, docents and veterans on hand to speak to high-school classes. A POW/MIA ceremony will begin at 7pm on March 26.
• Saturday, March 27 will include a performance by the 45-member Riverside Concert Band at 1pm.
• Sunday, March 27 will feature a performance by the Fontana High School Marine Corps Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps Male Drill Team.
• The closing ceremony will take place Tuesday, March 30 at 4pm.
Volunteers are needed to read names and staff the week-long event. To volunteer, call Phyllis at (805) 341-7269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.