For four days, Oct. 9-13, Petaluma hosts the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall.
Joe Noriel, former president of the Petaluma Museum Association, said the mission of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute is “to travel the national to honor, respect and remember men and women who have served, and pay special tribute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this great country.”
The Traveling Vietnam Wall is an 80 percent scale, 360-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., and contains every name etched on the original.
The AVTT will be escorted to Lucchesi Park by the Patriot Guard Riders at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, with opening ceremonies at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10.
Friday, Oct. 11, will be a special observation, Petaluma Remembered Day, focusing on the 15 local men who died in Vietnam. Also on Oct. 11, a 6 p.m. candlelight memorial takes place.
A Purple Heart Day proclamation is set for 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, and at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, women who served in the Vietnam War will be recognized. Closing ceremonies take place at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Noriel views this as an “amazing educational opportunity for the younger generation to learn about the sacrifices made by these men and women.
“Visitors to the wall will be changed forever,” he continued. “They say, ‘You touch the Wall and the Wall touches you.’”