By CHERIL VERNON
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute — a traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall — will make a short stop in Palestine Thursday as part of the honor escort for the Cost of Freedom Tribute Ride.
The Cost of Freedom Tribute Ride is scheduled to be at the Anderson County Courthouse Square at 3:30 p.m. for a short five-to-10 minute stop. The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 991 is planning a brief ceremony.
“This is hollowed ground for us,” VVA Chapter 991 President Allan Ayo said of the Vietnam Wall.
The tribute will start its escorted ride through Cherokee and Anderson counties stopping at 2:15 p.m. at Bill McRae Ford in Jacksonville. It will depart from Jacksonville at 3 p.m., heading toward Palestine. At 3:50 p.m., the tribute will depart from Palestine en route to the square in Rusk. At 4:30 p.m., it is expected to depart to Love’s Lookout on U.S. 69 in Jacksonville. At 5 p.m., the tribute will be en route to K.E. Bushman Celebration Center in Bullard, where the traveling exhibit will remain through Sunday.
The Lone Star Military Resource Group of Cherokee County is sponsoring the “Lone Star Military Appreciation Event” Thursday through Sunday at the Bullard center, located at 1565 FM 2493 East.
The traveling Vietnam memorial wall is the largest traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. It is an 80 percent replica with 100 percent of the names.
Other activities during the “Lone Star Military Appreciation Event” will include battlefield reenactments, military resources, military mental health conference, live music, vendors and speakers. Representatives from veterans organizations will be in attendance.
Opening ceremonies are set for 6 p.m. Friday in Bullard following the set up of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute. Candlelight ceremonies in front of the traveling exhibit are set for 8 p.m. Friday and at 7 p.m. Saturday in Bullard. The exhibit will be open 24 hours a day after the opening ceremonies and will close at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the event is free.
View a complete schedule of events on the Lone Star Military Resource Group’s Facebook page.
For information, call Julianne Sanford at 903-810-0303 or Stephanie Moore at 903-780-3369.