A Vietnam war memorial that travels the country has been set up in the city of Urbana, kicking off a weekend of military appreciation events.
The Moving Wall, a scaled down version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was installed at Grimes Field on Thursday. It contains the names of the nearly 60,000 Americans who were killed in the Vietnam conflict.
“It only makes sense that we honor those volunteers, those veterans who’ve stepped forward and been willing to stand up for the rest of us and safeguard our liberties,” Grimes Field Airport Manager Lou Driever said.
Members of the community lined Main Street to watch the procession that accompanied the monument.
“One of the things I’ve learned in the past many years is how patriotic Clark County, Champaign County, this surrounding area is,” Driever said.
Cheri Adams came from Springfield to see the procession.
“My brother was in Vietnam, and I wanted to pay tribute to him,” Adams said.
She plans to visit the wall on Saturday, she said, to pay her respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“They’re not forgotten,” she said. “Even now after all these years, they’re still not forgotten.”
Volunteers placed each piece of the monument in front of the old armory at the airport. The wall opened to the public on Thursday evening, Driever said, and can be visited 24 hours a day until Monday at 5 p.m.
Several events will be held throughout the weekend to honor military members, Driever said.
Saturday will be Military Appreciation Day at Grimes Field, 1636 N. Main St., Urbana, he said. A pancake breakfast and 5k run will be held in the morning, followed by the opportunity for helicopter and other aircraft rides.
A dozen veterans groups will attend, he said, as well as recruiters from each military branch. Several museums will also set up exhibits, he said, including the Champaign Aviation Museum and Flying Lab Foundation.
Aircraft rides will also be available on Friday and Sunday, he said.
More information on the events can be found at www.urbanaohio.com/grimes-field.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.