PALMDALE – As a society, we have an obligation to say thank you to those who put their lives on the line to defend our nation. This is the philosophy of Point Man Antelope Valley, the guardians of the Mobile Veterans Memorial of the Antelope Valley (AV Wall).
The AV Wall is now on display at the Palmdale Amphitheater, 2723 Rancho Vista Boulevard in Palmdale. It will be on display (with 24-hour-a-day public access) through Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 8 a.m., to allow veterans and community members a time for reflection and healing.
The AV Wall measures approximately 250 feet long and 6 feet high at its apex, and it contains the engraved names of all 58,286 Vietnam Veterans killed in action and missing in action.
“You have over 58,000 people that gave their lives for our country. The least we could do is show up and say thank you,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “This should be a priority for everybody to at least say thank you to a veteran.”
AV Wall events
An opening ceremony for the AV Wall will be held on Friday, Nov. 8 at 6 pm. It will feature a multi-branch JR-ROTC Color Guard, led by Major Conrad Hernandez CA-944 AFJROTC of Highland High School, and consisting of members from various schools in the Antelope Valley Union High School District.
Guest speakers include Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford and Vietnam Veteran George Palermo. There will also be a Table of Honor Ceremony, music by Jennifer Housholder of the “Hous Band,” a bugle solo by Gerald Lockwood and a wreath laying ceremony.
On Monday, Nov. 11, the Antelope Valley Service Organization Association (AVSOA) will host its annual Veterans Day Ceremony in front of the AV Wall.
Led by emcee Daniel Kirmel, the ceremony begins at 11 a.m. and will feature remarks from Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, an invocation by John E.A. Clarke, the National Anthem presented by the Palmdale Madrigal Singers, laying of wreaths by American Legion Post 348 Auxiliary President Linda Hayes, Marine Corp League Past Commander American Legion Post 348 David Parra, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39 Commander Sonia Gibbs and Elks Lodge 2027 Exalted Ruler Wes Snow, and presentation of “Let Them In Peter” by Phil Roberts.
About The AV Wall
The Mobile Vietnam Veterans Memorial for the Antelope Valley – AV Wall – was conceived and built with the citizens of the Antelope Valley in mind and was designed to be available to the Antelope Valley and surrounding areas to be displayed at events to honor all US Military Veterans who have served their country.
The genesis for the AV Wall was from the 2005 Palmdale Playhouse production of “A Piece of My Heart,” which chronicles the true stories of six women who served in the Vietnam War and the soldiers they took care of. The Playhouse wanted to bring a replica wall to Palmdale but none were available, so the idea to build a Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall was born.
The project was funded by donations from the community. Between 2005 and 2009 more than $100,000 was donated to the project. The most successful fundraiser was, “Pennies for Soldiers,” where 55 schools, businesses and civic organizations, raised the largest single donation of nearly $20,000.
Signs and Designs of Palmdale designed, etched and constructed all the panels of this replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. with selfless contributions of time, equipment, and expense.
The AV Wall was completed in October of 2009 and dedicated on November 13, 2009 at the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark at Palmdale Plant 42. For more information on the AV Wall, call 661-524-6408 or visit www.avwall.org.