The traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial is coming to Sedona.
That’s the message members of the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day committee wanted to share after their efforts raised the $9,000 needed to bring the wall here this spring.
As a way to honor those men and women who served during that time, a local group is planning a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day set for Sedona from Wednesday, March 30, to Saturday, April 2, on the soccer field at Posse Grounds Park.
“We have successfully raised the funds necessary to bring the Wall to Sedona,” said Eduard Uzumeckis, Ph.D., who heads up welcome home committee. “However, we are still raising funds to cover the expenses associated with the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day celebration on April 2 and events that will take place at the memorial.”
At the heart of the celebration will be an appearance by the traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial, which will be brought here by the American Veterans Traveling Tribute. The wall stands nearly 8 feet, is longer than a football field and lists the names of those Americans killed while fighting in that war.
AVTT got its start through the improved construction of their Traveling Vietnam Wall — which is 80 percent the size of the actual memorial in Washington, D.C. — while being a part of more than 300 events across America over the last eight years.
According to its website, “AVTT prides itself on the support of our Armed Forces and continues our mission of honor, respect, remembrance for our fallen and serving men and women in uniform. Additionally, AVTT allows those without the means or ability to travel to our great national memorial sites to pay respect and share in the experience of honoring our heroes. Continued through our five-day traveling Vietnam Wall events or one of our long-term booking options and the construction of custom engraved tributes for veteran’s parks across the country. All constructed right here in the USA.”
The wall was brought to Cottonwood in 2013 and according to Uzumeckis, himself a Vietnam veteran, an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 turned out to see it.
“We call it the wall that heals,” he said last year in an interview with the Sedona Red Rock News. “For us Vietnam veterans, the wall is sacred — it’s like a body. That’s why it’s escorted in, it doesn’t just show up. This is the first time that it’s coming to Sedona. I’m so glad we’re able to bring it here because Sedona has a reputation as a place to heal. I believe it’s going to be pretty phenomenal and I can’t wait to see it with the red rocks in the background. It will certainly be a moving experience for those who see it.”
The WHVVD Committee is seeking volunteers to help in a variety of ways including:
- Provide financial support.
- Provide volunteers before, during and after the event.
- Promote the event to both veterans, friends and neighbors.
- Provide food, refreshments, equipment, printing or flags.
- Provide advertising and public relations support.
“We are moving forward and anticipate having a very successful event,” Uzumeckis said.
He said they’re accepting both financial donations as well as those who would like to volunteer their time on the committee. Those wishing to donate can do so by sending checks made out to Community Counts WHVVD Fund and mailed to Merilee Fowler, MATForce 8056 E. Valley Road, Suite B, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314. And for those looking to volunteer, contact Uzumeckis at (928) 202-2193.