Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica Coming To Battle Creek
A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is coming to Battle Creek, escorted by over 600 motorcycles and a flyover by a flight team at its arrival. Opening and closing ceremonies will take place, with taps being played daily at 9:00 p.m.
The Wall That Heals is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a Mobile Education Center, that travels across the United States. Its only stop in Michigan will be located at the Harper Creek High School Soccer Field, from Thursday, July 14th through Sunday, July 17th. The Wall will be open 24 hours a day and is free to the public. The Wall That Heals honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War and it bears the names of the 58,281 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
There will be a motorcade to escort the semi-truck trailer which hauls the wall. The motorcade will leave the Galesburg-Augusta Primary School at 2 PM, July 12th, escorted by over 600 motorcycles. It will pass through Augusta and travel on Dickman Road past the Fort Custer National Cemetery. The motorcade should arrive at Harper Creek High School at 2:30 PM, with a flyover by the Hooligan’s Flight Team.
The Wall That Heals will arrive in a 53-foot trailer. When parked, the trailer opens with exhibits built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a Mobile Education Center telling the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall, and the divisive era in American history. The Wall replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. Visitors will experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall. Visitors are able to do name rubbings of individual service members’ names on The Wall. Attendees will be furnished with paper for the rubbings.
The Opening Ceremony is at 10:00 AM, Thursday, July 14th, with keynote speaker Medal of Honor Recipient, Jim McCloughan. The Gold Star Mothers, The Military Order of the Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 313, The Battle Creek VA Medical Center, and the Chapter of the Blue Star Mothers will lay wreaths. In Memory families will lay a rose in honor of those Vietnam Veterans, not on The Wall but who have since died of injuries or illness as a result of their service in Vietnam.
The Closing Ceremony will take place at 12:00 PM, Sunday, July 17th. Former U.S. Congressman and Battle Creek doctor John J. H. “Joe” Schwarz will be the keynote speaker. Lieutenant Commander Joe Schwarz was a U.S. Navy combat surgeon who served two tours in Vietnam. Brigadier General Robert Secrist USA Retired, Co-chair of the event will provide reflections on the week.
Group tours are available for organizations and retirement homes. Interested groups can reserve times at The Wall That Heals tab on the Calhoun County Red White Blue Foundation web page.
Refreshments and services will be nearby at the American Legion Post 257, located conveniently across the street from The Wall venue, and will be open 24 hours per day with refreshments and food. Also, The Battle Creek VA Hospital trailer will be available at the Post.
People are encouraged to line the escort route and pay their respect for the arrival of The Wall That Heals, by cheering, waving flags, and thanking veterans. Motorcyclists can sign-up to join the escort at this link. A detailed schedule of the route is listed below:
Tuesday, July 12th- Wall That Heals Escort Route
- 1:00 PM- Begin free motorcycle line up at primary school.
- 1:45 PM- Escort briefing
- 2:00 PM- The trailer containing the wall leaves Galesburg–Augusta Primary School, 315 West Battle Creek Street, Galesburg.
- 2:09 PM: Downtown Augusta
- 2:13 PM: Fort Custer National Cemetery, Dickman Road
- 2:14 PM: Silver Star Apartments, Clark Road
- 2:15 PM: West Michigan Avenue and Clark Road Intersection
- 2:19 PM: West Michigan Avenue and Bedford Road intersection
- 2:27 PM: West Michigan Avenue and Division Street intersection
- 2:28 PM: West Michigan Avenue becomes Main Street intersection
- 2:29 PM: Main Street and Cliff Street intersection
- 2:30 PM: Main Street and Columbia Avenue intersection (continue on Beadle Lake Road)
- 2:37 PM: Arrive at the second Harper Creek High School entrance on Beadle Lake Road, with a flyover performed by the Hooligans Flight Team.