American Legion Post 38 presents closing ceremony at The Wall That HealsMay 16, 2011
After a week of daily military observances at The Wall That Heals mobile Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and Museum, American Legion Post 38 presented the closing ceremony on Saturday with full military honors for the more than 58,000 service members killed or reported missing in action during the Vietnam War.
The ceremony, originally scheduled at the site of The Wall on the grounds of The Center for Rural Development, was moved into the Exhibit Hall at the last minute because of a sudden, approaching thunderstorm.
American Legion Post 38 opened the program with presentation of the colors, highlighted by a 21-gun salute, which was performed outside from the safety of The Center’s loading dock, and ended with a flag-presentation ceremony.
“Every name on The Wall That Heals represents a person who paid a price,” guest speaker Derek George, retired Navy commander for American Legion Post 38, told the audience. “Every name is a reminder of someone special.”
On Friday, members of Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post 269 and other speakers read the names of all 1,058 Kentuckians listed on The Wall during a nearly two-hour ceremony held in The Center’s front lobby.
“Everyone who served was a hero in one form of another,” George said. “The freedoms we have today are a direct result of their sacrifices…their willingness to put everything on the line.”
The Wall That Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was located on the yard area to the right of The Center’s front entrance from May 9-15.
The Center was the only location in Kentucky to host The Wall That Heals in 2011.