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Vietnam Memorial Wall makes its way to Santa Clarita

Posted: September 25, 2013 4:58 p.m.
Updated: September 25, 2013 4:58 p.m.

A small group waves flags on Magic Mountain Parkway as the trailer caring the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Memorial Wall approaches the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall on Wednesday where the wall will be displayed until Sunday. Signal photo by Dan Watson

Escorted by more than a dozen motorcycles and officials from the California Highway Patrol, the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall arrived in Santa Clarita Wednesday afternoon.

The wall, housed in a black trailer, made its way from Acton to Santa Clarita on Wednesday escorted by about 13 motorcyclists, many of them members of the American Legion Riders Post 507 or Patriot Guard Riders.

“I figured this was a perfect example of the things we do, bringing something this important into town,” said Duane Harte, the president of American Legion Riders Post 507. “It was a no-brainer.”

The traveling version of the wall is approximately 80 percent the size of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The full-size memorial is about 500 feet long and engraved with the names of the more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died during the Vietnam War.

The traveling wall was greeted by a modest crowd Wednesday as it was dropped off at its home for the next few days: a parking lot at the Westfield Valencia Town Center near Magic Mountain Parkway and Citrus Street.

One of those who came out to view the wall’s arrival was Barbara McNally, who lives in the San Fernando Valley.

McNally said she has never seen the full Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“I really think this traveling tribute is a great thing,” she said after taking a picture of the trailer holding the wall.

Harte said he’ll be looking for something in particular when the traveling tribute is put up on Thursday.

“I’ll be looking for the name of a friend of mine from grammar school,” Harte said. “We went to school together for years but then after high school I didn’t see him for a while — until I saw the notice that he’d been killed in action.”

Castaic resident Liz Lantzy, whose husband served in Vietnam, also came out to see the wall’s arrival.

“I respect the whole idea of the wall,” she said. “I know it’s going to be sad to see all those names, but it will be a great way to honor them, too.”

The Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall will be on display through Sunday and will be officially unveiled during a ceremony Thursday at 6 p.m.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney


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