February 11, 2014: Area motorcyclists are planning a ride to escort the truck carrying the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall to the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center on Sunday, March 2.
The ride is being organized by CAM, the Columbus Association of Motorcyclists. Several motorcycle clubs have expressed interest in joining in the ride, and organizers say they expect at least a couple hundred riders to take part. The ride is open to all motorcyclists; no registration fee is being charged. Riders will have the opportunity to purchase discounted commemorative pavers that will be the first to be laid directly in front of the Wall along Heritage Walk. Click here to learn more about Heritage Walk Pavers.
Riders will assemble at the Georgia Visitor Information Center at the Williams Road exit on Interstate 185 (Exit 12) at noon. At 1:00 p.m. they’ll leave the Center, leading the decorated Dignity Memorial tractor-trailer truck on the 17-mile ride to the museum. They are expected to arrive at the museum between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. Riders can buy refreshments from food and drink vendors and spend some time touring the museum before heading home.
The truck will be carrying the 48 panels that make up a ¾-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. The replica will be the featured piece in a permanent memorial plaza that will be dedicated at the National Infantry Museum March 21.
Dignity Memorial – a funeral, cremation and cemetery service provider – commissioned the Wall to take to cities around the country. It was displayed in more than 200 cities before being retired from traveling last year. The National Infantry Foundation has entered into a 5-year agreement with Dignity Memorial for the museum to become its new home.
The same Wall was on display at the museum for two weeks during the 2010 Welcome Home ceremony for Vietnam veterans. The 8-foot-high, 240-foot-long replica has a black, faux-granite reflective surface inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam.
The dedication on March 21 begins with an Infantry School graduation at 10 a.m. at the parade field behind the National Infantry Museum and will then move to the Wall for remarks by Medal of Honor recipient Colonel (Retired) Jack Jacobs. Volunteers will be on hand to help visitors locate names on the Wall and make pencil rubbings. Click here to learn more about the Vietnam Memorial Plaza Dedication.