Moving Vietnam Memorial Wall comes to Urbana


Submitted story

Pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War Sept. 21 to 25, when The Moving Wall – a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. – is on display in Urbana.

The wall will be set up on the grounds of the Mid-America Flight Museum, 1412 N. Main St. (the former Armory), just south of Grimes Field Airport.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, The Moving Wall will be escorted in a parade from Freedom Grove, north on U.S. 68 through Urbana, to Mid-America Flight Museum. Carl Angles will serve as grand marshal of the parade. He served in the Navy from 1960 to 1964 as a sonar technician on the USS John Paul Jones. He was awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for service on the Cuban Missile Blockade.

First responders from the county, several motorcycle clubs, vintage military vehicles and the Army National Guard in Marysville have been invited to join in the procession. A brief blessing will be conducted prior to unloading and setting up The Moving Wall at the Mid-America Flight Museum.

Grimes Field Airport Manager Elton Cultice, who helped arrange for The Moving Wall to come to Urbana, said that the Grimes Foundation is sponsoring the Moving Wall’s visit. The Urbana VFW Post 5451 and DAV Chapter 31 will be setting up the wall and coordinating staffing and security for the display.

The Moving Wall will be open to the public 24 hours a day until the wall is taken down beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 25.

The Champaign County Pilots’ Association is providing food for the volunteers. In addition, the Pilots’ Association will have a car, truck and bike show at the airport on Saturday, Sept. 23. A bounce house and other kids’ activities are planned during the car show.

Cultice said that a public ceremony will be held at The Moving Wall at 10 a.m. Saturday. Dave Cox, VFW chaplain, will give the invocation. Declarations will be presented from the offices of Congressman Jim Jordan and U.S. senators Sherrod Brown and J.D. Vance. Urbana Mayor Bill Bean and Champaign County commissioners will speak and then place a wreath at the wall.

Urbana Fire Captain Eric Beverly will conclude the ceremony with bagpipes, followed by a volley by the American Legion rifle team and an aircraft fly-by. He added that county high school bands have been invited to play prior to the ceremony.

Others involved in supporting The Moving Wall include Stitched with Care (flag cleaning), Ohio VFW Charities, Mr. Clean (porta potties), Denlinger Concrete and Skelley Lumber (materials for the base of the wall), Bull Skin Triad District Scouts, Champaign County fire and first responders, 1st Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, Dave Brandeberry, 88th Airborne Wing and Public Affairs Office, Shane Gullet Landscaping and the Urbana Lions Club.

On Saturday, The Moving Wall truck will join the VFW in the Chili Festival Hoopla Parade.

Submitted by event organizers

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