By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Special Interest | Issue: September 2011
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will be set up September 11-18 at Central Park at Union, 62nd St. and Mingo Rd. in Tulsa.
On September 11, 2001, America was brutally attacked and over 3,000 people from several different nations lost their lives. In the weeks and months following this terrible attack, Lady Liberty rose up from the ashes of Ground Zero, and all across the country, Americans united in a way most modern pundits thought was no longer possible. We embraced our common American values and for a brief but powerful time, we were not Democrat or Republican, African-American, Irish-American or Asian-American; we were all simply proud just to be an American.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of this tragic event. The day and the event should be remembered, and remembered properly. But in order to remember the historic significance of that tragic event, we must also remember and honor that rediscovered American spirit and the patriotic pride that swept the nation. To honor that day and those who gave and are still giving so much for our freedoms, we should take some time to reflect and renew our commitment to those ideals and values that make us all Americans.
The Union High School AFJROTC program is proud to announce that it will host a “Week of Remembrance” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The cornerstone of this week-long celebration of heroic sacrifice, duty and patriotism will be the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall. Perhaps no other time in American history is such a graphic representation of the great experiment that is America, than the Vietnam Era (1964-1975). What other nation in history could survive the combination of events that occurred and helped define that era? Think about it; we were fighting a costly, violent war in a country thousands of miles away to secure freedom for others, while our citizens literally fought in the streets for their rights here at home – for some it was their “right not to fight”; for others it was the fight for equality and respect. Throughout this time, it was our commitment to our American values and our uniquely American form of democracy that allowed us to not only survive this time of turmoil, but to actually grow and be strengthened by it.
During this era, we proved that in America and within our system, dissent and disagreement are not only tolerated but encouraged. As Americans, it is alright to disagree, and it is alright to be different in so many ways, as long as we can stand united by our common love and commitment to freedom and individual liberty and justice. It is specifically this combination of emotions that is stirred by remembering the Vietnam Era that makes the traveling wall such a perfect fit for this very special Week of Remembrance. The events of 9/11 were tragic, but America and each of as Americans can choose to be stronger for it.
They will display the wall from Sunday, September 11 to Sunday, September 18. The wall will be located at Central Park at Union on Mingo Road in Tulsa. “We would like to make this entire week an incredibly special event for all veterans and patriots,” said SMSgt. Dan Snow.
Daily events will be held at the wall site, including a morning Reveille ceremony each day at sunrise and a formal “Twilight Tattoo with Retreat” each evening. This will be a formal
ceremony conducted to honor the sacrifices and contributions of our veterans and patriots.
The Vietnam Veterans of America will participate with their tradition of conducting a “Fire Watch” during the stay of the wall. “Our cadets plan to conduct formal U.S. flag retirements each evening at the ‘fire pit’ under the watchful eye of these veterans,” said SMSgt. Snow.
A hand-picked and specially-trained group of JROTC cadets will guard the wall site, performing a re-creation of the sentry walk at the National Tomb of the Unknowns. These cadets will march this vigil 24-7, from the wall’s opening ceremonies until the wall is officially closed for viewing by the public.
A Patriot Ball is planned on the evening of Sept. 10 to kick off the Week of Remembrance. Everyone is encouraged and invited to attend, as it will be an evening of great entertainment and patriotic events. For more information about the Week of Remembrance,
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.