Vietnam Memorial Wall arrives

After more than a year’s preparation, the Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall rolled into Brown County around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 stopping briefly in Fayetteville, before traveling on through Mt. Orab to the Brown County Fairgrounds in Georgetown, its destination.
From Fayetteville to Georgetown, hundreds of Brown County residents, business people, students and Veterans stood by the roadside to get a glimpse  of and wave or salute the huge semi pulling the trailer,  which held the sections of the wall.
Volunteers worked through the night during strong winds and occasional rain setting up not only the wall, but many other vendors tents and booths on display.
The opening ceremony began at 11 a.m. at the arena in front of the stadium which was nearly full with people wanting to participate in the event.
Steve Bernhardt of Mt. Orab opened the ceremony by introducing each of the speakers for the event.
Chaplain Bill Graybill, chairman of the H.E.R.O. Committee thanked everyone who turned out for the grand opening.
“I want to thank everyone who is here today,” Graybill said. “If it wasn’t for you, we would not be here today. If it wasn’t for the men and women whose names are on that memorial wall, we would not be here.
“The members of the committee to bring this wall to Brown County have been outstanding, I cannot express my appreciation to them all.”
The National was sung by Britney Kassner who did an exceptional job, bringing tears to some of the veterans eyes, as her angelic voice echoed across the fairgrounds.
Georgetown Mayor Dale Cahall spoke briefly about not only the military personnel who died in the Vietnam War, but also the difference in how they were treated upon their  return to America when the war ended.
His comments obviously stirred the audience as heads throughout the stadium nodded in agreement with what he had to say, especially those who lived and served in the military during the Vietnam War.
Keith Maupin,  a Vietnam Veteran from the United States Marine Corps, the father of Matt Maupin (a four year prisoner of war who was killed in captivity.) He stressed to never forget those who died for this country.
United States Representative for Ohio’s Second District, Brad Wenstrup also had comments during the opening ceremony, reminding those in attendance how important their freedom should be to them and that the reason they can celebrate their freedom is because of those men and women who fought and died for that freedom.
Representative Doug Green named all the area soldiers who died in Brown County and paid tribute to them and their families, many of whom were in attendance of the event.
Finally, Graybill called all the H.E.R.O. Committee members up on stage and thanked them for making the event a reality.
The Wall will be open 24-hours a day until it closing ceremony on Sunday, May 14, 2017.