Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2005

Vietnam Memorial Wall replica coming to KC

June 16, 2005

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Dignity Memorial' network provider Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens is proud to announce the arrival of the Dignity Memorial' Vietnam Wall Experience Tuesday.

Escorted into Kansas City by a tractor-trailer surrounded by more than 200 motorcyclists, the traveling memorial will be on display at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens located at 701 N 94th St., Kansas City, beginning at 10 a.m. June 24. It will be open to the community 24 hours a day through June 26 at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, host of the three-day exhibition, invites the community to help honor America's veterans by visiting the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Experience and joining in the special activities dedicated to commemorating their service. More than 50,000 people are expected to gather, share a common bond and exchange experiences over the course of the weekend. Speakers during special ceremonies include city officials and military representatives.

Other ceremonial activities include flag ceremonies, POW/MIA exhibitions and a Super Connie Flyover. The flyover will be performed by the only remaining Connie plane left in that United States that was used during the Vietnam War to transport the wounded American soldiers back home, courtesy of the Airline History Museum. The ceremony will also include dove releases, the reading of Kansas and Missouri Vietnam Veterans names on the Wall, a candlelight ceremony to include an illuminated hot air balloon and a flag ceremony.

The wall will also be available for viewing and name rubbings 24 hours a day.

The Dignity Memorial' Vietnam Wall Experience is a three-quarter-size traveling replica of "The Wall," the most celebrated component of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is dedicated to all Americans who served in Vietnam and honors all veterans of the U.S. military. The Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemetery providers created the replica in 1990 to serve distant communities throughout the nation. Millions have visited exhibitions in more than 200 cities across the country. Locally sponsored by Dignity Memorial funeral providers or affiliated cemeteries, each community also helps host this meaningful event.

"Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens is proud to be associated with the many other community-minded organizations that have helped bring this meaningful event to our town. The exhibition is an admirable reflection of our city and its people," said Joel Brinkley, venue leader for Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.

The faux-granite replica is 240 feet in length and eight feet in height. Similar to the actual memorial, the names of the 58,175 Americans who died or are missing in Vietnam are inscribed on its black, mirror-like surface.

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