Traveling Vietnam Veterans wall welcomed to Siskiyou

Skye Kinkade
Two motorcyclists with the Missing in Action Project ride with the escort convoy for the American Veterans Traveling Tribute wall from the Weed Rest Area to the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds on March 26.

The American Veterans Traveling Tribute wall got a warm welcome to Siskiyou County yesterday. After this afternoon’s opening ceremony, the wall will be open for visitation 24/7 through Sunday afternoon.

The wall is an 80 percent scaled replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC.

A convoy of about 30 cars, motorcycles, military vehicles and California Highway Patrol cars escorted the wall from the Weed Rest Area yesterday to the Fairgrounds, where volunteers are busy assembling it.

Siskiyou County Veterans Services officer Tim Grenvik said there will be a main event on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m., in celebration of Vietnam Veterans Day.

The event will include vendors with merchandise and free lunch and dinner on both Friday and Saturday. Lunch will be served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. both days.

A fully-functional flying infantry Huey helicopter will be on display.

Guest speakers include Vietnam Army nurse Marge Wheeler and Ernie Brace, the longest held civilian Prisoner of War in Vietnam.

All the names of the Siskiyou County residents who were killed in action will be read aloud, Grenvik said.

Though there are only 16 Siskiyou County natives on the wall that are officially recognized, there are three others who are connected to Siskiyou in some way, Grenvik said. The military uses a soldier’s “home of record,” but sometimes a Siskiyou County native may have moved just before enlisting.

Grenvik plans to honor them all during the ceremony.

A closing ceremony is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.

For more information or to learn how to donate to the wall’s visit, call the Veterans Services Office at (530) 842-8010.