Traveling Vietnam memorial comes to Whitefish

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The Healing Wall, a traveling version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, is coming to Whitefish this week.

The moving wall will be set up at Grouse Mountain Lodge from Thursday through Sunday and will be open to visitors 24 hours a day.

This is the first time the wall has been displayed in the Flathead Valley. Whitefish is the only place it will stop in Montana.

Today, the wall will be escorted through western Montana by motorcycle honor guards.

After leaving Missoula, the wall entourage will make stops in Arlee, St. Ignatius, Pablo, Ronan, Polson and Kalispell.

The wall is expected to pass through Kalispell between 4 and 5 p.m. and reach Whitefish between 5 and 6 p.m. today.

After the wall is erected on Wednesday, special ceremonies are planned each day the wall is open at its Whitefish site.

Thursday, 10 a.m.: Opening ceremonies. Ed Croucher, state commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, will be master of ceremonies. Lt. Gov. John Walsh will be the guest speaker, and wreaths will be laid at the memorial.

Friday, 10 a.m.: Sarah Hartland will the guest speaker. She was third in the nation in the 2012-13 Voice of Democracy contest.

Saturday, 10 a.m.: Eagle Scout Hugh Ramlow will be the guest speaker. Saturday is Youth Day. 

Sunday, 4 p.m.: Closing ceremonies, featuring an address by Ryan Zinke of Whitefish.

Visitors to ceremonies should bring seating and protection from the weather. 

The wall’s visit to Whitefish is hosted by Whitefish VFW Post 276.

The wall is a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The memorial displays the names of 58,272 American military personnel who were casualties of the Vietnam War from 1957 to 1975.

For more information on the wall’s stop in Whitefish, go to  www.buildthecenter.vvmf.org/TWTH-Whitefish-MT.

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