Vietnam Memorial Wall Coming Next WeekOctober 10, 2014
by S. Aaron Shamshoyan
An 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall will be in town next week before it is permanently retired.
The Cost of Freedom Tribute featuring the Traveling Wall will be escorted into Salem on Wednesday, Oct. 15 and be open to visitors beginning Thursday through the weekend.
Selectmen’s Chairman Patrick Hargreaves said the spectacle will attract thousands of visitors.
“It’s going to be a great event,” Hargreaves said. “It’s going to be a great show.”
On Wednesday, a parade with over 300 motorcycle riders will escort the wall from a staging area at Rockingham Park, down Route 28 to Main Street and to Geremonty Drive, where it will be unloaded and set up on Grant Field at Salem High School.
The opening ceremony will take place on Thursday at 1 p.m. and the wall will remain open around the clock to guests.
“It will be open 24 hours a day,” Hargreaves said.
Friday will mark a Law Enforcement and Firefighter Recognition, Hargreaves said, adding a Veterans Day recognition will take place Saturday night.
“Saturday is going to be a traffic nightmare,” he said. “All of Geremonty Drive will be closed off.”
Up to 1,500 motorcycle riders will visit the wall Saturday to pay tribute to the memorial.
“At that time, Geremonty Drive will be blocked off,” he said, adding handicapped parking and Salemhaven guests will still be able to get through.
Parking will only be allowed for handicapped guests during the day at the high school, and a shuttle will pick up visitors at Rockingham Park.
“There will be a bus shuttle Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from Rockingham Park leaving every 15 minutes,” Hargreaves said.
There will be services for veterans at the memorial, Hargreaves said. “Whatever the veterans need will be there.”
Closing ceremonies will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday. Multiple dignitaries will speak during the ceremonies, which will also feature the Salem High School Band and Chorus.
Vietnam Memorial Wall Exhibit
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Cost of Freedom display at Salem High School will be held from Wednesday, October 15 to Sunday, October 19.
Selectman Pat Hargreaves advises all visitors to the exhibit that there will only be handicapped parking available at the high school parking lot during the exhibit. Visitors are advised to park at the Rockingham Park Track parking area closest to Rockingham Boulevard. There a shuttle service will be available every 15 minutes.
The tribute includes an 80 percent scale-sized replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
The wall and its exhibits will be open 24 hours a day during the time it is in Salem.
Thursday, October 16
1:00 p.m. The Cost of Freedom Exhibit is open
1:00 p.m. Soft Opening Ceremony
Posting of Colors Salem JROTC
Invocation: Salem Veterans Chaplain – George MacLean, Pledge of Allegiance – AMVETS Commander Norman Bilodeau
Laying of the POW/MIA and Gold Star Wreaths: Douglas Micklon/Lance Reynolds, Blessing of the Wall – St. Joseph Church
Guess Speaker – VFW State Commander Mark McCabe, Patriotic Songs -Salem High Chorus
5:00 p.m. Retrieval of Colors – Air Force JROTC
Friday, October 17
8:00 a.m. Reveille
All-day exhibit viewing; School children attend
11:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony
Posting of Colors – Salem Fire Department/Salem Police Department Honor Guard
Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem
Keynote Speaker – Retired State Fire Marshal Don Bliss, “America the Beautiful” – Salem Seniors Singers
Retrieval of Colors – Salem Fire Department/Salem Police Department
6:00 p.m. Haigh/Baron Elementary School Chorus
Saturday, October 18
8:00 a.m. Reveille
All-day exhibit viewing – various groups for music and singing (all day)
10:00 a.m. Ride to The Wall (motorcycles)
11:00 a.m. Opening Ceremony
Escorts are as follows: 4th Degree Knights of Columbus/American Legion Auxiliary And Salem Veterans Association Honor Guard, Posting of Colors – Salem JROTC Color Guard, Pledge of Allegiance – AMVETS Post 2 Commander Norman Bilodeau
Invocation: Salem Veterans Chaplain – George MacLean, National Anthem – Salem High School Chorus
Keynote Speaker – NH Senator Chuck Morse/Et Al
Showcase local Veterans – American Legion Post 63 Commander Douglas Micklon and VFW Commander Lance Reynolds
Benediction – Salem Veterans Chaplain George MacLean
Evening Ceremony – Candle Light Vigil, Bag Pipes
5:00 p.m. Hours Retrieval of Colors – Salem High School JROTC, “Taps” SHS – Evening Music
Sunday, October 19
8:00 a.m. Reveille – All-day exhibit viewing
11:00 a.m. Wall Touching Ceremony (Vietnam Veterans only)
1:00 p.m. Closing Ceremony
Posting of Colors – Salem JROTC Color Guard
Invocation – Benediction – Lt. Phillips J. Stevens, Command Chaplain for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Keynote Speaker – Commander Salem American Legion Post 63, Douglas Micklon; Patrick M. Hargreaves, Event Chairman
Benediction: Lt. Phillips J. Stevens, Command Chaplain for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Retrieval of Colors – Salem JROTC Color Guard, “Taps”