Valley Center Gearing Up For Vietnam Memorial Wall

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Little by little, Lions Park in Valley Center is being transformed into a war memorial.

"It's kind of little learning as we go," said Air Force Staff Sergeant Anthony Suppa. "But it is coming together."

Members of the air force are volunteering their time and skills to build a platform for the famous moving wall. It's a granite replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial that's been touring the country for more than twenty years.

"Most of us have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan," said Suppa. "So this means a lot to us."

After two previous attempts, Valley Center was finally chosen for the memorial.

"I've heard of places that have 40,000 people," said Mayor Mike McNown. "I hope we don't get that many people, but we are looking for a big crowd."

Valley Center will shut down two streets near the park for the five day event, and there will be no parking near the park. Visitors will be directed by signs to park in city and school lots. School buses will do the shuttling.

"It's a great way to showcase our city, " said McNown. "People can see the town of Valley Center, but the most important thing is to honor our veterans. That's what we are here for, why people have come together to make this happen."

The moving wall has specific requirements including 24-hour security, which will be provided by American Legion volunteers. The wall must be lit at all times. For that, Westar donated huge lights.

American Legion riders will escort the wall into Valley Center's Lions Park Thursday morning with the memorial open to the public beginning at 5:00 a.m. It will be open 24 hours a day until it leaves at 2:00 Monday afternoon.

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