The wall contains 58,272 names of those soldiers that gave their lives during the Vietnam War.
The Wall, which spans 252 feet, just under half the length of the Vietnam Veterans Wall in Washington D.C., is made up of 72 separate panels. It was completed in October 2009 and dedicated shortly after at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark at Air Force Plant Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif. This Veterans Day weekend, the Wall was made available for public access 24-hours a day.
Despite rain, members of the community came attended the opening ceremony for the wall, hosted by the History students at Lancaster High School, that Friday. Orbin “Coach” Love shared what the wall meant to him as a U.S. Veteran.
Later that same evening the Tehachapi Police Pipes and Drums gave their rendition of “Amazing Grace” on the Bagpipes and VFW Post 3552 performed a 21-gun salute.
On Sunday, the sky had cleared and the Antelope Valley Service Organization Association presented a special Veterans Day ceremony to honor those who served. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem, Mayor of Palmdale James Ledford addressed the crowd.
American Legion Post 348 Auxiliary President, Stacy Walters and Marine Corp League Member, Pat Murray were selected to conduct the Laying of Wreaths ceremony. Murray and Walters each placed a wreath of honor against the wall. This was followed by the Table of Honor Ceremony performed by the Highland High School Air Force JROTC.
Guest speakers for the ceremony included Ken Branam, American Legion 348 Commander, VFW Post 3552 Commander, Rose Ferguson, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39 Past Commander, Ruben Trejo and Standing in for Tom Meisinger was VFW Post 3552 Lifetime Member, John Mayfield.
“I want to thank all of the U.S. military veterans who served honorably in our military during wartime and peacetime,” said Ferguson, “We owe them so much and shouldn’t forget the thousands who are deployed all over the world at this very moment. Through their sacrifice they’re making this nation safer and more secure.
The final ceremony was held Monday night. During its off-season, Point Man Antelope Valley, a Christian-based veteran support group, has been designated the guardian of the AV Wall. The wall is engraved with names in such a way that a pencil rubbing can be made from any name. Each name is designated by either a diamond which denotes that the service member’s death was confirmed or a cross for those missing in action or prisoners of war that have not been accounted for.