Organizers estimated as many as 2,000 people had visited the wall between August 25 – 27.
On behalf of a friend who couldn’t be there, Dave Cavanaugh of Marine Corps League Detachment 1043 Skagit Valley located a fallen comrade’s name on the wall and did a rubbing.
“It’s neat for people to connect and to realize that there are so many names,” he said. “That’s a lot of sacrifice.”
Adjacent walls paid tribute to veterans of other wars and campaigns. Names on dogtags lined walls dedicated to those killed in action in Afghanistan and Iraq. Among the names: Lori Piestewa, Hopi, the first American Indian woman in history to die in combat while serving with the U.S. military and the first woman in the U.S. armed forces killed in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
For four days, Swinomish veterans and their families visited the American Veterans Traveling Tribute and Traveling Wall to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of the United States.
They touched names. They prayed. And they remembered.
The traveling tribute, the centerpiece of which is an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was assembled at the Swinomish Northern Lights Casino in Swinomish, Washington August 25-28. The scale version of the wall is 370 feet in length and contains every name etched on the original.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute is a veteran-owned project. It travels the U.S. to honor, respect, and remember those who served, and pay specific tribute to those who gave all. It is funded through donations, sponsorship fees, and sale of merchandise at events. Since the tribute is mobile, it enables people to pay respect without having to travel great distances to do so.
Besides the scale version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the tribute includes exhibits listing the names of those who died in military action between the end of the Vietnam War and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and those who died in the Global War on Terror.
A 9/11 Memorial exhibit with lighted twin towers features names of those killed, according to their location at the time of the attacks. Original art, photographs, maps and other information are displayed to tell the story of the nation’s wars. There are also panels that honor law enforcement and firefighters.