Veteran memorials on display at Rally on the River
IRONTON — The loud revving engines and hard rocking music at Rally on the River seemed to be far and away from a ceremony to welcome two traveling memorials to military veterans Thursday evening.
While the party was going on along the river, more than 200 people gathered at the Ironton Hills Shopping Center, where the Moving Wall, a replica of the Vietnam War Memorial, and Ohio Flags of Honor were welcomed in ceremony as a part of the 10th annual Rally on the River.
The event was hosted by American Legion Post 433 in Ironton, and Ted Riedel, a member of the post, served as committee chairman for the event and led the ceremony.
“The people in this area are big veteran supporters, and for them to have the chance to see the memorial and see their loved ones’ names is an experience I hope helps them leave here feeling grateful and with a fulfilling and healing heart,” Riedel said.
The Moving Wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., which has traveled throughout the country since 1982.
While the memorial travels and is on display on its own, the organizers of the Ironton event paired the display with the Ohio Flags of Honor memorial, which travels throughout the state in honor and memory of Ohio veterans who have passed away serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial includes one flag for each soldier who was killed in action.
Retired Army National Guard Lt. Col. Scott Evans said he hoped each person who visited the memorial had the chance to reflect on the sacrifices made by military personnel.
“Every one of those men and women paid the ultimate sacrifice for us to have the choice to live the way we do today, and each one of them was a person who was special to someone,” Evans said.
The Moving Wall and Ohio Flags of Honor memorials will be on display during the Rally on the River.