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Published: Tuesday, 3/5/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Vietnam vets to be saluted at series of June events

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Many of them were vilified when they returned to the United States decades ago. But Vietnam War veterans will be honored during a slate of activities planned for Vietnam Appreciation Weekend, which will be held in Toledo from June 5-9.

For many, the highlight will be the return of the Moving Wall, a half size replica of the Washington Vietnam Veterans Memorial that has been touring the country for more than 20 years. The wall, which last was in Toledo in 2005, will be on display at International Park in downtown Toledo, on June 6, event co-director Duke Wheeler said. 

Other events planned during the week include: An honor motorcycle ride and salute, a veteran’s health clinic/expo and job fair, veteran forums, and a United Service Organization show. Most of the activities will be held at International Park. All events will be open to the public.

“We want to recognize all the sacrifices these veterans made,” said Mr. Wheeler, describing the purpose of the weekend activities. “More than 50,000 died in Vietnam. Those who returned were spit upon.

“We’ve never given them a proper “thank you.’”

Many of the activities are still being planned, so exact times and dates are not yet available, said Mr. Wheeler, owner of Whitehouse Christmas Tree Farm in Whitehouse. More details will be announced in the near future.

The tribute wall, which contains all 58,267 names of the fallen, will be on display in the afternoon, said event co-director Mark Peddicord. Vintage military vehicles from the Vietnam era will also be on display throughout the park.

The University of Toledo will kick things off with a Vietnam Veterans Honor Roll Call on June 5 at Savage Hall, said Mr. Peddicord, marketing manager at The Blade. Organizers are seeking the names of local Vietnam veterans to include during the recognition.

For more information, contact Mr. Peddicord at mpeddicord@toledoblade.com or 419-724-6394. 

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.



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