Traveling Dignity Memorial(R) Vietnam Wall Comes to Tampa Area

October 26, 2009

BRANDON, Fla., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ — The Dignity Memorial® Vietnam Wall, a three-quarter-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be on display October 29 – November 1 at Hillsboro Memorial Gardens, 2323 West Brandon Boulevard in Brandon, Fla.

“The monument was created as a service to those who might never travel to the nation’s capital to experience the Vietnam Wall firsthand,” said Beth Rodriguez, General Manager of Hillsboro Memorial Gardens, a member of the Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers that created the replica in 1990. “Our replica offers visitors a chance for healing and reflection, and we are very pleased to be able to share it with the community,” she said.

The replica is eight feet high and 240 feet long. Its black, reflective surface is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam. Paper and pencils will be provided so visitors can make rubbings of names etched on the replica.

Created by the Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers in 1990, the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall is dedicated to all Americans who served in Vietnam and honors all veterans of the U.S. military. The exhibit is sponsored locally by Hillsboro Memorial Gardens and the Dignity Memorial Providers in the Tampa area.

The exhibit is free and open around-the-clock from Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m. through Sunday, November 1 at 4:00 p.m. Activities and ceremonies planned in conjunction with the exhibition include the following:

  • A motorcade of Vietnam veterans and other riders from area motorcycle clubs will depart Sunset Memory Gardens in Thonotosassa, Fla., at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 27 to escort the replica to Hillsboro Memorial Gardens, where it is scheduled to arrive at Noon.
  • Volunteers will construct the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 1:00 p.m.
  • An Education Day on Wednesday, October 28 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. will make the replica available to local high school classes studying the Vietnam War. The Vietnam Helicopter Association will have a Vietnam-era helicopter on display that students will be allowed to sit inside.
  • At 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 29 there will be a candlelight memorial service beginning with a POW/MIA remembrance ceremony presented by the Veterans Museum of Hillsboro County. The Marine Corps League will perform Taps after the POW/MIA ceremony.
  • Opening Ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m. Howard Shapiro, Vietnam veteran and meteorologist for FOX 13, will serve as the master of ceremonies. Jerry Klein, a Vietnam veteran who served with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Calvary, 1st Division, will deliver the keynote address. Klein was awarded the Silver Star, the Air Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his service in Vietnam and now serves as National Chair of the Veterans Benefits Committee for Vietnam Veterans of America. A missing man formation flyover will conclude the opening ceremonies.
  • Closing Ceremonies will take place on November 1 at 2 p.m. The Last Patrol will perform a special “Ceremony of Remembrance” to honor and remember the country’s fallen heroes. The ceremony will end with a time capsule rededication and a moment of silence.

Limited parking is available at Hillsboro Memorial Gardens. Additional parking will be available at the Westfield Shopping Mall in the eastside parking lot. Shuttles will run from Hillsboro Memorial Gardens to the mall on Friday, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 31st from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 1st from Noon – 4 p.m.

After visiting the Tampa area, the monument will be on display in North Lauderdale, Fla., from November 6 – 8. To date, the replica has traveled to more than 200 cities across the country and has been visited by millions of Americans.

The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall is one of many efforts of the Dignity Memorial network to honor and support our nation’s veterans and active military. The Dignity Memorial network will also host educational Veterans Seminars at the Best Western Brandon Hotel, located at 9331 Adamo Drive, on Thursday, Oct. 29th at 4:00 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 30th at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 31st at 11:00 a.m. Other initiatives and programs include the Veterans Planning Guide, the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veterans Burial Program, and special pricing and benefits for members of three veterans service organizations.

For more information about the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall and its visit to the Tampa area, call 813-689-8121 or visit www.DignityMemorial.com. To learn more, get updates or become a fan of the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, visit www.facebook.com/DignityMemorialVietnamWall.

About Hillsboro Memorial Gardens

Hillsboro Memorial Gardens is a proud Dignity Memorial provider in Brandon, Fla. The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America’s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence.

    Media Contact:
    Jennifer Jordan

SOURCE Dignity Memorial

Source: newswire

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