A replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall is heading to Delta, an occasion that will be marked by a multi-day Salute to Armed Forces Festival in Confluence Park. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people are expected to visit the wall and participate in the festival June 6-9.
"This event has grown a lot over the last couple of months but in a good way," said event director Mat Gallegos. "I'm really excited to see how this thing plays out."
At the heart of the event is an 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Wall containing every name found on the permanent wall in Washington, D.C. The wall, the largest of four traveling walls in the U.S., is owned by American Veterans Traveling Tribute. It will be escorted into Delta Wednesday, June 5. When erected in Confluence Park, it will be 360 feet in length and 8 feet tall at the apex.
The area will be lit at night, allowing the wall to be open to the public 24 hours a day through the closing ceremony at noon Sunday, June 9. There is no charge to visit the wall.
An opening ceremony is planned at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 6, to be followed by a D-Day 75th anniversary celebration, a flyover from a World War II torpedo bomber, a POW/MIA ceremony and a veterans/family welcome home barbecue. The barbecue is free but tickets are required. Veterans can visit the hospitality tent in Confluence Park to pick up their tickets.
Events Friday include a remembrance ceremony and golf tournament at Devil's Thumb in Delta. The remembrance ceremony will be repeated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 8. Live music and a veterans poker run round out the day Saturday. The Salute to Armed Forces Festival closes Sunday with a veterans pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. and a closing ceremony at noon.
Volunteers are still needed to help pull off one of the most anticipated events to come to Delta. For more information, call Donna Justin at 970-216-8316. To serve on the security detail, call Randy Forsythe, 970-644-7811. Gallegos said people will be on the ground from 7 a.m. Wednesday morning until 5 p.m. Sunday.
Gallegos said this event would not be possible without the support of area VFW and American Legion units, the City of Delta, Delta Elks Lodge and many other sponsors.
Go to facebook.com/Salute Armed Forces. for more information.