Originally posted September 13, 2011
An Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet marches at the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall at Central Park at Union today, Tuesday, September 13.
Since it opened to the public Sunday, the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall at Central Park at Union, 62nd and Mingo, has received thousands of visitors. More than 2,000 flyers were passed out over the weekend. Thousands more expected before the visit concludes this Sunday, September 18.
The Union Public Schools Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps is hosting the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall as America pays tribute on the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The Memorial is open to the public. The AFJROTC is billing the event as a “Week of Remembrance: Celebrating the American Spirit,” under the leadership of retired Sr. Master Sgt. Dan Snow and retired Lt. Col. Ron McCool, who have led fund raising efforts to pay for the visit for the past year.
Students from the 6th/7th Grade Center are visiting the Memorial all week long, listening to Vietnam veterans talk about the war. Students are learning about prisoners of war, military helicopters, the condition soldiers faced as well as the rituals and meanings behind the Memorial. Today, members from the Purpe and Gold teams visited the site.
The following is from the program being distributed to visitors.
Week of Remembrance September 11-18, 2011
Americans realize that freedom is not a gift; it is a prize that must be won; a privilege that must be earned; it is a responsibility that must be fulfilled. It is a God-given right that must be defended. It must be defended on distant battlefields, in the courtroom, and the classroom.
Freedom is never free!
It is to the indomitable American Spirit and our commitment to liberty and freedom that the Week of Remembrance is dedicated. With these values and principles in our minds and in our hearts we set out to create something special. We had a vision of healing; a dream of regaining that sense of unity that was so strong in the aftermath of 9-11-01. We wanted to give our community a chance to embrace the things that unite us and to ignore, if only temporarily, those things that divide us. We wanted to offer all of Green Country a chance to be proud to just be Americans again.
In the days before September 11, 2011, a school district park was transformed into a sanctuary of reflection and remembrance for an entire community. This small piece of earth that is normally filled with laughing and playing children is now a place of solemn reflection. This park, Central Park at Union, (62nd and Mingo) is a place where the spirits of yesterday can mingle with the dreams of tomorrow. It is a place where all of us who enjoy the benefits of freedom can pay respect to those who have sacrificed so much to defend that freedom.
Take a moment to reflect on the values you hold dear. Take a moment to remember loved ones you may have lost. Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made in your name and in the name of freedom. Take a moment to remember those who went before you and showed you the way. Take a moment to reflect on how you can be a light to others. Take the time to make this a special and personal “Week of Remembrance” for you and those you love.
The Week of Remembrance is dedicated to honoring the American Spirit and the victims and heroes who have given so much in the name of freedom. Each day at 0700 and 1800 we will conduct a flag retirement ceremony in honor of a different group of American heroes.
9-11 - First Responders and the victims of 9-11
9-12 - America’s Veterans
9-13 - America’s Military
9-14 - Constitution and Old Glory—Naturalization ceremony 11 a.m.
9-15 - Military Families
9-16 - POW/MIA – Special POW/MIA Ceremony at noon
9-17 - Wounded Warriors—DAR luncheon
9-18 - Closing ceremony and tribute to American Spirit
The Union AFJROTC Program and Booster Club would like to thank the following organizations for all of their support in making the Week of Remembrance a success.
American Builders and Contractors of Oklahoma
Jim Glover Chevrolet
Route 66 Harley Davidson
Sounds of Music
Talk of Tulsa
J. David Jewelers
Vietnam Veterans of America
Disabled American Veterans
American Legion Post 1
American Legion Riders
Tulsa Police Department
Broken Arrow Police Department
Tulsa Council on Veteran Affairs
Folds of Honor
Patriot Golf Course
Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association
Hooper’s Specialty Events – Cindy Hooper – Patriot Ball Decorations
Oklahoma State Council on Veteran Affairs
UMAC – Union Multipurpose Activity Center and its personnel
Union Public Schools Singing and Performing groups:
l TrebleMakers (Intermediate High)
l Union Harmony (High School Advanced)
l Just 4U Quartet (Sophomore Ladies)
American Airlines VMERG (Veterans Military Employee Resource Group)
Sons of the American Revolution
Daughters of the American Revolution
Following are photos from Tuesday, September 13.