Vietnam Veterans
Memorial Wall & Traveling Museum

travelling wall

Hosted by the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida
at the C.H. "Bull" Rigdon Fairgrounds in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
June 17-20, 2010







Local Sponsors:

The Wall That Heals will be open 24 hours a day
beginning on Thursday, June 17, 2010 at 7 a.m.

There is no charge for admission.


National Sponsors:

Event Location:

map of fairgrounds

Local community sponsors include:

• Air Force Association (Eglin Chapter)
• Air Force Association (Hurlburt Chapter)
• Brooks Bridge BBQ
• Carriage Hills Realty
• C.H. “Bull” Rigdon Fairgrounds
• City of Fort Walton Beach
• Cox Communications
• Cumulus Broadcasting
• Destin Interactive, Inc.
• DRS Defense Solutions
• Eglin Federal Credit Union
• Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau
• Emerald Coast Detachment
#915 Marine Corps League
• Emerald Coast Military Affairs Council, Inc.
• ERA American Realty
• Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
• Heritage Cycles Harley-Davidson of FWB
• Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida
• Image Printing
• InDyne, Inc.
• Jacobs Technology
• Joseph and Joann Pascarella
• L3 Communications
• Laura Roesch, CPA, PLLC
• Lee Gouthro
• Magnolia Grill Restaurant
• Midbay Rotary
• Niceville United Methodist Church
• Niceville-Valparaiso Rotary
• Niceville Valparaiso Tea Party
• Northwest Florida Daily News
• Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS)
• Okaloosa County
• Okaloosa County Democrats
• Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee
• Phillip and Frances Hoge
• Pioneer Technologies Corporation
• Publix – Paradise Pointe
• Santa Rosa Mall
• Snap On Industrial
• Starbucks
• Tybrin
• Waste Management Inc. of Florida
• William and Inez Hall
• Woody’s Hog Heaven



Presented by Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida (850) 678-2615



Project Week Schedule (Subject to Change)

Monday, June 14
10 a.m. Volunteer Orientation at the C.H. “Bull”
Rigdon Fairgrounds, Fort Walton Beach
(All wall volunteers are required to attend one or two orientation sessions)

Tuesday, June 15
Motorcycle Escort of The Wall That Heals
through Okaloosa and Walton Counties
9 a.m. Meet at Twin Hills Park in Crestview
10 a.m. Kickstands Up

Escort Route: East on Highway 90 to DeFuniak. South onto Highway 331 to Freeport. Right onto Highway 20 through Niceville/Valparaiso to C.H. “Bull” Rigdon Fairgrounds in Ft. Walton Bch. (81 Miles - so fuel up!)
:: Residents are encouraged to line the streets along the route to show their patriotism ::

Refreshment afterwards at Heritage Cycles
(788 Beal Avenue, Fort Walton Beach)
For more information call Sam Smith: (850) 217-9371

Sponsored by Starbucks and Heritage Cycles
Harley Davidson of Fort Walton Beach
& Woody’s Hog Heaven

6 p.m. Wall Volunteer Orientation
At the C.H. “Bull” Rigdon Fairgrounds in Fort Walton Beach (All participating volunteers must attend one or two volunteer orientation sessions)

Wednesday, June 16
3 p.m. Press Preview

4 p.m. Opening Ceremonies with invocation by Rev. Rurel R. Ausley, Jr. of the Niceville United Methodist Church, Honored Guest Veteran, Col. George “Bud” Day and Reading of the Okaloosa County Names
Sponsored by Waste Management,
Eglin Federal Credit Union and Tybrin

Military participating in ceremony – Service dress
Civilians participating in ceremony – Coat and tie
Other military attending – ABUs
Other civilians attending – Business casual

Thursday, June 17

Friday, June 18
11:00 a.m.
Vietnam Reflections
Colonel (Ret.) Leo J. Weeks, US Army

In this presentation, Colonel (Ret.) Leo J. Weeks, US Army will focus on two tours of duty in Vietnam, 1966 and 1968. The first tour as an advisor to a South Vietnamese infantry battalion and the battle in which
he subsequently was wounded in. He will portray his closeness to the Vietnamese people and the working conditions of the time.

The second tour in which he served as the Senior
Aide-de-Camp to Lt. General Julian Ewell, II Field Force Commander. Colonel Weeks will discuss meeting both President Nixon and Vice-President Agnew and will conclude with reflections and comments on the war in general, it’s effect on our armed forces and our people, and, finally, how he looks back upon it 40 years later.

8:30 p.m. Candlelight Ceremony
Reading of the Okaloosa County Names
Sponsored by the Eglin Officers’ Spouses Club,
Eglin Air Force Base

Saturday, June 19
10 a.m. Reading of the Names

11 a.m. Lecture: Maya Ling Lin – Artist of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

By Laura Stevens, Professor of Art History,
Northwest Florida State College

Laura Stevens, local scholar and professor of Fine Arts at Northwest Florida State College, reveals the unique history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, shares background on the Wall artist and architect, Maya Ling Lin, and insight into one of the world’s emotionally powerful memorials today. This multi-media presentation will include discussion of the controversy surrounding the design competition, original footage of the artist’s testimony before the U. S. Senate, as well as an overview of the artist’s current projects. 


1 p.m. Lecture: The People and Places of Vietnam
(1968-70) by Charles E. Merkel Jr. Ph.D.,
53d Wing Historian, Eglin Air Force Base.
A helicopter pilot's view of the people and countryside of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The presentation includes slides, stories and memorabilia illustrating how the people of South Vietnam carried on their daily lives during a time of danger, hardship and turmoil.

Sunday, June 20
9 a.m. Father’s Day Rose Remembrance Ceremony
Father's Day is a special day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Every year volunteers join sons and daughters of those whose names are inscribed on The Wall and gather in the early morning to affix long-stemmed roses with messages of love and honor, sent from across the country to those lost in the war. Red roses represent those killed in action in Vietnam and yellow roses are for those who remain missing. The white roses symbolize those who have died during America's most recent conflicts. As part of the ceremony each message is read aloud and each rose is touched to the loved one's name on The Wall before finally being placed at the base of the Memorial.

2 p.m. Closing Ceremonies: special guest veteran Maj Gen Richard Comer introduced by Captain Mark Meadows.

Visitation for the Wall will be 24 hours.

Indoor exhibits including collections from the Vietnam Archives at Texas Tech University will be on view from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily.



Presented by Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida (850) 678-2615







Wall will be escorted by over 500 riders
to NWF Fairgrounds site.



University of West Florida students Sara Richardson and Michael Weech (not pictured) interview Vietnam veteran Don Bafundo at the Heritage Museum in Valparaiso.


One of many photographs from the Vietnam conflict Barfundo has shared with students.


Performance by Leo Day

Laura Stevens

Lt Chuck Merkel and crew with
Casper 571 prior to a mission
over Vietnam.

Captain Mark Meadows