Vietnam veterans from Tift and Worth County who were killed in that war will be honored at The Traveling Wall in Ashburn on Thursday through Sunday.
The Traveling Vietnam Wall, a moving version of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C., is coming to Ashburn, Sept. 4-7. The Wall is set up in the greenspace at I-75 Exit 84 between Shoney’s and Carroll’s Sausage.
The Wall will be escorted into Ashburn from I-75 Exit 121 by motorcycle riders and law enforcement on Wednesday. Kickstands up at 2 p.m. Riders heading north will gather at I-75 Exit 84 to ride to Unadilla and back. Kickstands up at Exit 84 at 1 p.m.
Opening ceremonies are planned for 10 a.m. Friday. The Vietnam War dead from Turner, Wilcox, Irwin, Tift, Crisp, Worth and Ben Hill Counties will be called out by Vietnam veteran Mike Geoghagan. Veteran John Dye will toll the Turner County bell for each name.
Highly decorated Vietnam veteran and Georgia native Tommy Clack is the keynote speaker. Mr. Clack lost an arm, part of a shoulder and both legs in the Asian nation. He’s since become one of the nation’s strongest advocates for veterans.
Through The Eyes, an exhibit of war photos and memorabilia, Vietnam helicopters and the Georgia Iraq Wall, with the names of Georgians killed in that conflict, are also expected.
There is no charge to see the exhibits. No drinks, other than water, no cell phones and no music are allowed in the area immediately around the wall. Counselors and ministers will be on hand.
For more information about the Wall’s appearance, please call Ashburn Mayor Jim Hedges at 567-3431 or The Wiregrass Farmer at 567-3655. For information about the motorcycle escort, call 567-3655.