Inspiring Branson remembrance ceremony at “The Wall”

Members of Chapter 913 of the Vietnam Veterans
of America rendering a salute as they place the
memorial wreath in front of “The Wall.”

In but one of many special memorial ceremonies, services and programs conducted as part of Branson’s Veteran’s Homecoming Celebration, the 58,000 plus American heroes who gave their life in the Vietnam War were honored at the opening ceremony for “The Wall” at the Welk Resort at 10:00 a.m. on Nov. 5. “The Wall” is a traveling half scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It spans almost 240 feet in length and lists the names of the over 58,000 American’s who gave their lives in the Vietnam War.

The quiet dignified ceremony started with the presentation of the Colors by the Chapter 913 of the Vietnam Veterans of America followed by the Pledge of Allegiance lead by Mimi Lennon.
A special moment in the ceremony was the Lennon Sisters “a cappella” rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Even as they sang the familiar notes and lyrics that have been heard so often and have almost become common place, the simple beauty of their voices and their manner of presentation reminded all that were present that what was being remembered was anything but common place.

The most poignant and stirring moment of the event was the Wreath Laying Ceremony. The wreath was formally marched forward and placed in front of “The Wall” by two members of Chapter 913 of the Vietnam Veterans of America. As they raised their hands in a silent salute the lilting sounds of “Taps,” played by Bob Smither, and a rifle volley fired by Korean War Veterans floated over “The Wall” in memory the duty, honor and sacrifice of those whose names it commemorates.

“The Wall” runs the length of grass outdoor area immediately behind the Welk Resort Hotel and Theatre. It is open to public viewing through Nov. 11. Each panel is numbered and there is a special locator book, located under the “blue” canopy in front of the exhibit that can be used to find individdual names.

While on display volunteers will be continually reading the names on “The Wall” during the hours on 8:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. Additional volunteers are need for this effort and are encouraged to call Jacque Cheary at 1-800-808-9355.


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