Vietnam Traveling Wall to Visit Ellijay
5/8/2018 ~ by Suellen Reitz | Legion Post 149
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Traveling Vietnam Wall will be on display at the Lions Club Fairgrounds in Ellijay May 16-20. Sponsored by Ellijay American Legion Post 82 and the Gilmer County Lions Club, this wall is much larger than the display that was shown four years ago. The authentic wall replica at 80% of the memorial in Washington D.C. , stretches over 375 feet and 8 feet at the apex. The size of the monument and the vast seemingly endless display of 58, 267 veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice can be a very emotional experience.
Bringing the Wall to Ellijay allows those who have never had the opportunity to visit the actual memorial to pay tribute and respect to the men and women whose names are etched in the marble for eternity. “The cost for bringing the wall is not cheap…” says David Cadorett, the Assistant Director for Post 82 American Legion Riders. “We have a donation bucket on site and the donations that we raised last year paid the $8,000 for this display. Donations will be accepted so that we can do this for our veterans and their families again.”
Finding the names of loved ones is easily accessible through the data base and volunteers who help direct visitors to the panel and line the name appears. To help preserve that experience, paper and pencil will be available to make a rubbing of the name that is listed chronologically by date of death.
Respect throughout the display of the Wall will start with the ride escort of 150 to 200 bikers composed of Post 82 and Post 149 Legion Riders who will meet at the Chatsworth Ingles at 962 GI Maddox Parkway at 11:30 a.m. on 16 May. The ride is open to the public and everyone who would like to participate are encouraged to join in the patriotic ride which will depart Chatsworth around 3:00 p.m. Riders may join the group at the American Legion Post in Ellijay located ate 297 Legion Road at at 11:30 if they would like to enjoy the full ride.
An official ceremony will be held on Saturday with guest speakers Speaker of the House David Ralston and Senator Steve Gooch. At 5:00 p.m. a special Retreat Ceremony of lowering the flag will be performed while a bugler plays taps.
If you choose to visit the site on Saturday, the Ellijay Legion invites you to visit their beautiful facility overlooking the Coosawatte River for dinner, drinks and music featuring the Veteran Band “Tunnel Rats”. Music begins at 5.
The display will open to the public on the 17th and remain open 24/7 with security on site until the closing of the memorial wall at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Setup, teardown and security will be provided from volunteers of both American Legion Posts and the Ellijay Lions Club members