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Events scheduled for Moving Wall

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most popular tourist attractions to visit in Washington, D.C.

For those around the area who haven't been able to visit the memorial, this weekend will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the memorial, will make a stop at the Gas-Lite field in the Town of Trimbelle Wednesday through next Monday.

The event is sponsored by the local Chapter 331 Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).

The wall will be open all 24 hours it will be here so people can come and view it when they please. Workers will always be on site to guard the wall and assist those in finding a name, along with various other assignments.


Action starts at 1 p.m. as members from the VVA, Rolling Thunder and Patriot Riders escort the wall to Trimbelle. If interested in being a member, the group will meet at County Point, located at the intersection of Minn. Hwy. 61 and Hwy. 10, three miles west of Prescott.


The festivities kick off with a 1 p.m. opening ceremony at which a variety of events will be held, including a color guard posting, remarks by Wayne Boyd, VVA 331 President, John Devitt, founder of The Moving Wall, Merlin Blaisdell, Pierce County Veteran Services Officer, and Dave Zien, former Wisconsin State Senator, who will be the keynote speaker. Bill Baker will lay the killed-in-action wreath.

Music will be provided by Sara Soebing, who will sing "The Star Spangled Banner," and the Ellsworth High School band ensemble, which will play the "National Anthem."


Friday will be a busy day as VVA 331 is targeting students to visit the wall. As of last week, Pepin is the only area district coming, as 50 children will visit during the day. The day is also National POW/MIA Day, which will be the theme of the evening activities, starting at 6 p.m. Luke Cesnik, a pilot from Freedom Flight, Inc., will be the keynote speaker. Freedom Flight is a non-profit organization based in St. Cloud, Minn., that seeks to honor and increase the awareness of POW/MIA issues. If weather permits, the group will also release a POW/MIA hot air balloon. Patty Fenstermaker and Jim Ottman will also do a roll call of POW/MIA soldiers from Wisconsin, along with Washington and Goodhue counties in Minnesota. Finally, to go along with the POW/MIA theme, its wreath will be laid by Randy Weiss. The other scheduled events include a F15 flyover from the Minnesota Air National Guard in Duluth, Gayle Freiseis leading the Missing Man Table Prayer and Father William Matzek doing the opening prayer.


No activities are scheduled for Saturday.


Events start at 1 p.m. with an opening prayer from Pastor Beth Benson. The Prescott High School band ensemble will do the National Anthem and other selections. There will be recognition of military personnel along with a RV-8 flyover from Tom Irbeck. VVA 331 Past President Ron Cleveland will be the keynote speaker and VVA 331 Vice-President Lee Meyer will be the closing speaker.


The colors will be retired at 10 a.m. as a prayer will be led by Bob Fiedler. Irv Yelle will end the event by playing taps.

After the Gas-Lite, the Wall moves on to Warrens and Joliet, Ill., the next two weekends.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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