"The Wall" traveling memorial in area for Memorial Day weekend

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) A moving tribute to veterans lost during the Vietnam War will be open for viewing in Grand Island during the Memorial Day weekend. The traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial located in Washington, D.C. will be on display at the Veterans Park.

There are four traveling memorials in the United States. The one coming to Grand Island is closest to the original in size, according to committee member Ron Hitch.

"This is the largest," said Hitch. "It's an 80% replica of the Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington, D.C. It's 360-feet long and eight feet high in the center."

Access to the wall will be open 24-hours-a-day, beginning Thursday afternoon and running to Monday, May 27, which is Memorial Day.

"We have about 150 volunteers to man the wall in different shifts, four hour shifts," said committee member Mike Ponte.

There will be materials available for visitors who may want to make an etching of someone's name on the wall, just as is done in Washington. Volunteers will even assist getting etchings of name high up on the wall, which bears the name of over 58-thousand people killed in the Vietnam Wall, including 395 Nebraskans.

There will be an opening ceremony Thursday at 5:30 p.m. There will be two ceremonies held Monday, starting with the usual Memorial Day services at 11:00 a.m.

A closing ceremony will be at 2:00 p.m. Monday afternoon and will be attended by Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts.