PALESTINE — A Vietnam Wall traveling replica is coming to Palestine on Memorial Day weekend as part of the Texas State Railroad's 16th Annual Salute to the Armed Forces event.
Due to the anticipation locally for the wall replica, the TSRR has seen a 22-percent increase in participation this year.
“Based on anecdotal evidence from others who have hosted The Wall, we knew participation and attendance at our event would increase this year,” Salute to the Arms event organizer Janet Gregg said.
Participants include veterans groups, military re-enactment groups and living history exhibitors, plus static military displays, booths by military support groups, displays by first responders, paid vendor booths, a food vendor, a children’s activity area and more.
Groups will represent the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War. Delta Company 3-144 Infantry Regiment of the Texas Army National Guard will represent those currently serving our country.
The Patriot Train will run three times each day, at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to the Jarvis Wye and back. The ride is roughly an hour in length. All current and former military with identification will be able to ride the train for free.
Each day will begin at 9 a.m. with a flag-raising ceremony including an honor guard, prayer and speaker. Each day will end at 5 p.m. with a lowering of the colors.
On Saturday, May 24, the East Texas Accapela Ensemble will perform mostly patriotic music at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the big tent.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Traveling Wall will arrive on Wednesday in Palestine. At 3 p.m, the Patriot Guard and other groups will escort The Wall on its five-mile route from the Palestine Mall parking lot to the Texas State Railroad Palestine Depot.
Setup for The Wall will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday. Once it is set up, the wall will be available for viewing 24 hours a day at the Palestine Depot until take-down begins at 8 a.m. Monday, May 26.
For more information, call 903-683-3451 or go to www.TexasStateRR.com