The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be on display in Urbana Sept. 21 through Sept. 25.
“I originally contracted with the wall back in 2019 to be here in 2020, but COVID prevented its appearance that year, so we pushed it back to 2021, then 2022, and now finally we have a confirmed visit scheduled for this year,” said Grimes Field Airport Manager Elton Cultice. “This is our chance to honor and respect those who made the ultimate sacrifice through remembrance and education. Bringing the Moving Wall here gives many people an opportunity to see the Wall that they otherwise would never have.”
The Moving Wall will arrive in Urbana on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 20. Thursday morning at 9 a.m. it will be escorted from Freedom Grove north on U.S. 68 through Urbana to Mid America Flight Museum, 1412 N Main St. (the old Armory) where it will be set up.
On Saturday, the Moving Wall truck will join the VFW during the Chili Festival Hoopla Parade.
The Grimes Foundation is helping to sponsor the Moving Wall’s visit to Urbana and Urbana VFW 5451 will be setting up the wall and coordinating staffing and security while it is on display. The Champaign County Pilots’Association will be donating food for the volunteers and is also having a Car, Truck & Bike Show that Saturday on the airport. A bounce house and other kids’ activities are planned during the car show.
A public ceremony will be held Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. when Dave Cox, VFW Chaplain, will give the invocation. Kirby Brandenberg will read a declaration from Jim Jordan’s office, Mayor Bill Bean and Champaign County Commissioners will speak and then place a wreath at the wall. Fire Captain Eric Beverly will conclude the ceremony with bagpipes, followed with a volley by the American Legion Rifle Team and an aircraft fly-by.
The Moving Wall will be open 24 hours a day to the public until tear-down begins on Monday, Sept. 25 at 9 a.m.
If you would like to volunteer and/or help sponsor the appearance here, please contact Cultice at Grimes Airport at (937) 652.4319 or Carl, Craig or Fred at the VFW/DAV at (937) 653-6365. Updates will also be posted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/I74Grimes.
Submitted by Elton Cultice