The Wall that Heals.
Wall That Heals Honor Procession On Aug. 28Issue Date: August 23, 2018
Starting with an arrival caravan on Tuesday, Aug. 28, area residents will have an opportunity to honor those who gave their all during America's 20 year involvement in the Vietnam War.
The Wall That Heals, a 3/4-size replica of the magnificent black granite Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., will arrive at the Wisconsin/Michigan border at approximately 5 p.m. on Tuesday Aug. 28 and proceed in solemn procession through Menominee, Marinette, Peshtigo, Coleman and Pound to the Crivitz Community Memorial Park, where it will be assembled in time to become the focus of ceremonies starting on Thursday, Aug. 30.
Residents of communities along the way are being asked to turn out to honor the procession as it goes by, and the communities are asked to display flags as a sign of respect.
After arriving at the park The Wall will be continuously attended while being assembled in preparation for formal opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. on Thursday. The Wall will then be attended and available for viewing 24 hours a day regardless of weather until after closing ceremonies at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2.
The Wall That Heals is meant to heal some of the wounds left by the Vietnam War. United States involvement in that war started in 1955 when then President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent advisors to assist the French in their battle against the Communist forces in Vietnam. The war officially ended in 1975 with the signing of a peace treaty in Paris. During the latter stages of the war, there was a great deal of political controversy surrounding the actions of the government in Vietnam. Mobs were accusing American servicemen of participating in atrocities.
The political controversies spread throughout our nation. It was a time of great emotional upheaval in our country, a time when individuals who served in our armed forces, instead of being honored for their service, were treated with disdain. There were riots in the streets. Instead of being welcomed home, returning servicemen and women were reviled with insults, spat at and cursed. It was a time of hurt and hurting from all perspectives.
The 20 year war in Vietnam took its toll on the men and women who served there. Approximately 58,000 gave their lives. The fate of some 1,200 others remains unknown. Many incurred illnesses that brought early death or lifetime ailments, physical as well as mental.
In 1982 a huge black granite memorial wall listing the names of the over 58,000 men and women who either gave their lives or were missing in action as a result of the Vietnam War was constructed in Washington, D.C. as part of the Vietnam Memorial. With the construction began a time of healing for the bitter wounds left behind from the protests of the 1960's and 70's.
That list of names has been updated several times over the years, and today The Wall lists engraved names of 58,272 persons who either gave their lives in Vietnam or remain missing. The Wall is nearly 600 feet long and over 10 feet tall at its highest points.
It is a 3/4-size replica of this wall that that will be the focus of activities in Crivitz from its arrival on Tuesday, Aug. 28 until its departure on Sunday, Sept. 2.
The Crivitz Wall Committee has planned a full schedule of events to recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives during their service in Vietnam, and to offer the community an opportunity to give Vietnam veterans the welcome home they deserved and never received.
Events will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 28 with a welcoming caravan through the county. There will be a motorcycle and police escort of the trailer carrying The Wall beginning in Menominee at the intersection of M35 and US 41 at 5 p.m. The caravan will proceed through Menominee on 10th Street to 10th Avenue, crossing into Marinette on the Highway 41 Interstate Bridge at about 5:10 p.m. It will proceed through Marinette to Peshtigo arriving at approximately 5:20 p.m. From there the caravan will travel along County Highway B to Coleman, arriving in Coleman at 5:45 PM. It will head north on County Highway CP through Pound to US Highway 141 where it will head north to Crivitz. The anticipated arrival time in Crivitz is 6:15 PM. Those interested in participating in this caravan should meet at the former VFW Hall in Menominee at 4 p.m. on the 28. As The Wall travels through Crivitz the caravan will pass along the avenue of flags that has been provided through the efforts of the Crivitz Area Lions Club and generous donations from community members. Installation was donated by J & T Electric.
The committee is asking the communities along the way to line their roadsides and display their American Flags to welcome The Wall to Marinette County. There will be a parade through the streets of Crivitz escorting The Wall to Crivitz Community Veterans Park, which will be its home for the next four days.
Arrival in Crivitz will include a photo opportunity for those who participated in the escort, with a short welcoming ceremony to follow. The Wall will be assembled on Wednesday by members of the Crivitz High School Football team and their coaches.
Each day will begin with the singing of the National Anthem at 9 a.m. by area singers. Wednesday through Saturday evenings taps will be played by Crivitz High School Band members Joey Pickett and Della Goldberg. The official opening ceremony will begin following the National Anthem on Thursday, August 30 with Wisconsin Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David J. Zimmerman as the featured speaker. The national anthem will be sung by Talor Long and the Crivitz Memorial VFW Post #2063 will raise the flag. The Crivitz High School Band will provide music for the event.
At 6 p.m. on Thursday there will be a Salute to America program, with State Representative Jeff Mursau speaking. The national anthem will be sung by Mr. Robert Berndt and an invocation will be presented by Irene Bauer. The keynote address will be given by Don Landwehr, a former Navy Seal who served in Vietnam. A reading of the names of area individuals who are listed on The Wall will be done by Kaitlin Deschane and Bob Kleba. The Remnants Barbershop Chorus of Escanaba and Common Ground, a praise group from Faith Presbyterian Church in Crivitz, will present a patriotic concert.
On Friday evening at 7 p.m. Surrendered Heart, a local music group that features contemporary Christian, classic rock and country music with a wholesome upbeat message, will perform.
On Saturday, Sept. 1 a program saluting all veterans will begin at 10 a.m. The program will begin with the singing of the National Anthem by Lacey Kroll. Among those scheduled to speak at the event are Governor Scott Walker and 8th District Congressman Mike Gallagher. Keynote address will be presented by former Air Force Captain, Christopher Deschane, who is an Iraq War Veteran. The ceremony will close with the Rolling Thunder Veterans organization performing their Missing Man Table Ceremony, a salute to the over 1,500 service members who are still missing in action from the Vietnam War.
Saturday evening, at 8:30 p.m., there will be a candle light vigil honoring the fallen whose names are engraved on The Wall. The vigil will include the reading of names of area individuals who died in Vietnam.
Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Mr. Dewey Sessler will sing the National Anthem. The closing ceremony will begin on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. with Rev. David Pleuss of Faith Presbyterian Church in Crivitz. Rev. Pleuss is a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserves and an Afghanistan War veteran. The names of area individuals listed on the wall will again be read by Snake and Dave Lozinski, members of the Rolling Thunder veterans group.
The Rolling Thunder will perform their flag ceremony to honor the Gold Star families of PFC Donald Christ of Wausaukee, PFC Paul Pamenet of Crivitz and CPL Jerome Rouse of Coleman. The families will be presented with a U.S. flag, saluting the service given by their deceased military family members.
The display will close at 3 p.m. on Sunday with the Crivitz Memorial VFW Post lowering the flag and the Vietnam Veterans of America's Echo Tap presentation.
Drinking water will be available during the time of the event through a generous donation by Nicolet Bottled Water of Mountain, WI. Area restaurants will be offering substantial discounts to veterans who wish to enjoy a meal at any one of the fine restaurants in and around Crivitz.
"The Wall That Heals Committee encourages everyone to come to visit The Wall That Heals, recognize those who gave their lives and take a moment to thank a service member or veteran for their service to our great country," declared Crivitz Village President John Deschane.
Deschane himself is a Vietnam veteran, and members of the committee and others in the local community have praised him for being instrumental in bringing The Wall to Crivitz.
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