The City of Palmdale and Point Man Antelope Valley will host the Antelope Valley’s Mobile Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall from 5 p.m., Nov. 8 until 8 a.m., Nov. 13 at the Palmdale Amphitheater, 2723 Rancho Vista Blvd., under the theme of “Welcome Home Antelope Valley Vietnam Veterans.”
The monument is open to the public around the clock during the display period. Admission is free.
“In keeping with our theme, we have invited all local Vietnam veterans to submit ‘Then and Now’ photos of themselves to be showcased at the event,” said Stacia Nemeth, AV Wall Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator. “We will have an honor wall in our information tent to pay tribute to our local Vietnam veterans. These are the men and women who enable us to have this display every year. It is quite fitting that we dedicate this year’s event to them.”
The annual Veterans Day ceremony is planned for 11 a.m., Nov. 11. A Candlelight Memorial Walk followed by Taps will take place at 9 p.m. that evening. Taps will be played nightly at 9 p.m.
As part of the Veterans Day ceremony, volunteers will show honor, respect and gratitude to all veterans by helping to distribute special “Thank You” pins provided by AV Wall to all veterans in attendance.
“This ceremony is a small token of this community’s love and appreciation of our veterans, their families, and their joint sacrifices,” said a spokesperson for the organizers. Air Force veteran Frank Graves will sing the National Anthem.
The AV Wall is a half-scale size tribute monument of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is cared for by Point Man Antelope Valley, a veterans outreach organization that ministers to veterans of all wars.
PMAV is a non-profit, faith-based 501(c)(3) autonomous organization that is fully financed by donations. PMAV is under the umbrella of Point Man International Ministries, Spring Brook, NY.
The concept of a local mobile Vietnam memorial wall was first discussed in 2005 when a committee celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Palmdale Playhouse was looking for a mobile wall to display at the “A Piece of My Heart” play. The play, by Shirley Lauro, details the stories and struggles of six women who served in Vietnam. A mobile wall would be the perfect tie in, but none were available at that time. “Why can’t we build our own wall” was asked by a Playhouse staff member, and the concept took off!
It took four years to raise the $102,000 to fabricate the wall. Signs and Designs, Inc., of Palmdale was integral in the manufacturing and engraving of the wall. Each year, upon the release of additions and changes to the wall by the Department of Defense, Signs and Designs, Inc. updates the panels.
As of May 2018, there are 58,318 names on the Wall.
AV Wall sponsors include Signs and Designs, the City of Palmdale, Lockheed Martin, Hunter Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram and Green Valley Nursery.
For more information, visit www.AVWALL.org, Facebook @avwalldisplay, or call 661-524-6408.