The American Veterans Traveling Tribute has made its way to Tucson, hosted at Casino del Sol through Sunday, Nov. 12.
The display—housed at the casino’s pool lawn, 5655 W. Valencia Road—is an 80% scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. Across its 360-foot length, the wall contains every single name etched on the original. At its apex the memorial is 8 feet tall.
The wall was scheduled to be escorted into town by a motorcycle contingent on Nov. 8 and subsequently set up on the resort pool lawn.
Opening ceremonies are 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, and will include the posting of the colors and opening remarks.
A Veterans Day observance is 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the pool lawn and will include the Pascua Yaqui Color Guard, blessings, speakers and a wall for anyone to post a note of appreciation.
The wall will remain open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Sunday, Nov. 12, with free admission.
American Veterans Traveling Tribute was founded by Donald Allen, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army who is passionate about the military.
“We like to educate the present and future generations of America about our past, while supporting our veterans and their family members,” said Stephanie Moore, sales and marketing manager at AVTT.
“We do this as a way to honor our veterans and celebrate their name and just say, ‘thank you.’”
The company has another traveling wall besides the Vietnam Wall. There is a Cost of Freedom Tribute, which honors other fallen service members, from World War I to Afghanistan and Iraq. It has a 911 tribute for first responders, a recognition of suicide victims and those suffering from PTSD.
The company does not have these tributes out of sadness.
“We don’t do this as a mourning, we do this as a celebration,” Moore said. “We want to celebrate, and we want to honor our fallen (service members), as well as those veterans who are still around.”
Tickets are available at the casino gift shop. Veterans, active-duty military and first responders may get free lawn tickets with identification at the AVA gate or purchase reserved seating for half off.