Traveling Vietnam Wall coming to Broad River Electric
Public can visit replica at headquarters in Gaffney, May 3-6
Broad River Electric is bringing The American Veterans Traveling Tribute’s (AVTT) Vietnam Memorial Wall to its headquarters in Gaffney May 3 through May 6. The 80-percent scale version of the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. will be accessible to the public from noon Thursday until 3 p.m. on Sunday. Members attending the cooperative’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 5 will also be able to experience the memorial.
A schedule of events is planned that will pay tribute to veterans, their families, and first responders.
There will be an honor escort as The Wall is brought into the community on Wednesday, May 2. The parade of veterans’ motorcycle groups and law enforcement vehicles will depart from the Cowpens Battleground Visitor’s Center between 2:30-3 p.m., traveling down Highway 11 into Gaffney to arrive at the cooperative’s headquarters at 811 Hamrick Street.
The Wall will be opened to the public with a noon ceremony on Thursday, May 3. The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office Rifle Drill Team will present colors and the Cherokee County Office of Veterans Affairs will lay wreaths to honor the families of fallen soldiers and first responders.
Thursday evening, beginning at 8 p.m., there will be a candlelight memorial service led by Retired Army Col. Roy Mathis who served in Vietnam. Groups participating in the service include the Broad River Leathernecks, Boy Scout Troop 145 and the Gaffney High Air Force Junior ROTC.
On Sunday, May 6, there will be a short closing ceremony at 2 p.m. The Wall will be taken down at 3 p.m. that day.
Between the opening and closing ceremonies, The Wall will be accessible to the public throughout the day and night. Tracing paper for recording wall rubbings will also be available and volunteers will be on hand to assist in locating names.
The AVTT Vietnam Wall is the largest replica traveling the country. Across its 360-foot length, the wall contains every single name etched on the original. At its apex, the memorial is eight-feet tall.