KOKOMO, Ind. — The VFW Post 1152, DAV Chapter 28, the American Legion, and the Forty and Eight are bringing the American Veterans Traveling Tribute to Indiana University Kokomo from June 30 to July 4.
The tribute, which is 360 feet long and eight feet at its apex, is an 80 percent scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. It contains all 53,253 names inscribed on the original wall. It will be near the Pavilion east of Hunt Hall.
“Once you see how large the wall is, and how many names are on it, it’s a little humbling,” said Teri Rose, director of community development for the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund. “You understand that the names are not just a person, it also represents the families who lost that loved one, and those who served with them when they were killed. This is something they live with for the rest of their lives. It makes it very personal.”
Heather McAdams, president of IU Kokomo’s Student Veterans Organization, is organizing volunteers to assist with security, name location, clean up, and other tasks. As a veteran of the U. S. Marine Corps, she is proud the campus is hosting the event, and is pleased it will be there during the Fourth of July holiday.
“The freedoms we enjoy rest on their shoulders,” she said. “The wall is a way we can all show our respect and support to veterans. To have my college host this event is very meaningful to me.”
Opening ceremonies are at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 30, with closing ceremonies at 3 p.m. Monday, July 4. Each day, there will be speakers about military topics and concerns at noon and 5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.
Motorcycle riders are invited to escort the memorial as it arrives in Kokomo Wednesday, June 29. Registration starts at 2 p.m. at Brandt’s Harley-Davidson, 1400 N. Cass St., Wabash. Departure will be about 4:30 p.m., to arrive on campus at approximately 5:45 p.m.
To volunteer, contact McAdams at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the traveling tribute, go to americanveteranstravelingtribute.com
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.