By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Organizers of the visit of The Vietnam Traveling Wall announced a tentative schedule of events planned during The Wall’s visit in Imperial April 22-26.
The Wall will arrive in Chase County on Wednesday, April 22. An official escort is being planned, starting at the Enders Lake Golf Course at 3:30 p.m.
A reception will follow at 4:30 with speakers from the VFW, VFW Auxiliary and Chamber of Commerce.
Volunteers will erect The Wall at the old high school football field on Wellington Street Thursday morning, April 23, with the official opening set for 12 noon.
The opening will be accompanied by opening ceremonies including posting of the colors, the laying of wreaths, blessing of the wall and exhibits, presentation of flags and singing.
Reveille and posting of the colors will kick off the day Friday through Sunday and will conclude with the retirement of colors and Taps.
Friday’s ceremonies include a flag folding ceremony and POW/MIA remembrance at 10 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.
Organizers expect Saturday, April 25, to be a busy day at The Wall.
There will be a 10 a.m. ceremony to honor all veterans from WWII to those who have served in Afghanistan.
Scott Parker, senior enlisted advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, will be the featured speaker.
Parker, a graduate of Chase County High School and the son of Sue Moore of Imperial, was in the Pentagon when it was struck by a plane on 9/11.
A “Touch The Wall” event will be held at 1 p.m., followed by a balloon release at 3 p.m. and a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m.
The day will also be highlighted the Ride to the Wall, with motorcycle riders fron throughout the state converging on Imperial to visit The Wall.
The event will conclude Sunday, April 26, with closing ceremonies at 2 p.m. Breakfast will be served by the local District 12 chapter of A.B.A.T.E, from 7-10 a.m.
An all-faith church service will be held at The Wall at 10 a.m.
The event is being sponsored by the Andrew Kinder VFW Post 4688 and its auxiliary, along with the Imperial Chamber of Commerce.
It is being underwritten through the use of Chase County keno funds, as approved by county commissioners.