Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Honor Vietnam Veterans in Phoenix

Traveling Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Comes to Phoenix

Community Invited to Pay Respects to America's War Veterans
PHOENIX, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dignity Memorial((R)) Vietnam Wall, athree-quarter-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial inWashington, D.C., will be on display Sept. 18 - 20 at Phoenix Memorial Parkand Mortuary, 200 W. Beardsley Rd. in Phoenix. Call 623-434-7000 for more information.

Free and open to the public 24 hours a day from Friday, Sept. 18 throughSunday, Sept. 20, the replica is eight feet high and 240 feet long. Its black,reflective surface is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemenand women who died or are missing in Vietnam. Paper and pencils will beprovided so visitors can make rubbings of names etched on the wall.

Created by the Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemeteryservice providers in 1990, the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall is dedicated toall Americans who served in Vietnam and honors all veterans of the U.S.military. The three-day exhibit is sponsored locally by Phoenix Memorial Parkand Mortuary and VFW Post 9400.

"The monument was created as a service to those who might never travel to thenation's capital to experience the Vietnam Veterans Memorial firsthand," saidDan Salter, director of Dignity Memorial providers in the Phoenix area. "Ourreplica offers visitors a chance for healing and reflection, and we are verypleased to be able to share it with the community," he said.

Activities and ceremonies planned in conjunction with the exhibition includethe following:

-- A motorcade of Vietnam veterans and other riders from area motorcycle clubs will depart Buddy Stubbs Anthem Harley-Davidson in Anthem, Ariz. at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15 to escort the replica to Phoenix Memorial Park, where it is scheduled to arrive around 4 p.m.

-- Volunteers will construct the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

-- An Education Day on Thursday, Sept. 17 will make the replica available to pre-registered school groups from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

-- The exhibit will open to the public Friday, Sept. 18. OpeningCeremonies will begin at 9 a.m. Guest speakers include state legislator Carl Seel, gubernatorial candidate Ben Jankowski and master of ceremonies Sarge Lintecum. Lintecum is a highly-decorated, three-tour Vietnam combat veteran. Well known for his recording "Vietnam Blues," Lintecum is a poet, singer, songwriter, musician and entertainer who uses his Vietnam experiences as inspiration for his powerful works.

-- A silent auction from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 19, will benefit the VFW's efforts to provide assistance for local military families facing deployment.

-- A sunset POW / MIA ceremony Saturday, Sept. 19 will include a candlelight vigil and the reading of the names of prisoners of war and those missing in action.

-- Closing Ceremonies will begin at 2:45 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20 with a motorcycle salute to Vietnam veterans and will conclude the burial of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Vault of items and memorabilia left at the exhibit throughout the weekend. The burial ceremony will include a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps.

After Phoenix, the exhibit will be on display in Houston, Texas, fromSeptember 25-27, 2009. To date, the replica has traveled to more than 200cities across the country and has been visited by millions of Americans.

The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall is one of many efforts of the DignityMemorial network to honor and support our nation's veterans and activemilitary. Other initiatives and programs include the Veterans Planning Guide,the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program, educational veteransseminars and special pricing and benefits for members of three veteransservice organizations.

Phoenix Memorial Park is a proud Dignity Memorial provider in Phoenix. TheDignity Memorial network of more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemeteryservice providers is North America's most trusted resource for funeral andmemorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatchedcombination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity,respect and service excellence. For more information, call 623-434-7000 or visit www.DignityMemorial.com.

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