SIDNEY — The Traveling Vietnam Wall won’t be stopping in Sidney in May. the event had been planned for May 11-17.
Tilda Phlipot, Shelby County Historical Society director, announced Thursday the wall’s visit is being postponed to September 2021 due to the coronaviris (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I have been waiting for guidance from our governor if we can hold the Traveling Vietnam Wall in May,” Phlipot wrote in an email. “Each day I hope that he will lift the restrictions but yesterday the COVID-19 numbers went in the wrong direction and I feel my back is to the wall.
“I share with you that I have been in communication with the owners of the Traveling Vietnam Wall. The contract does not let me cancel the event for any reason. That being said, the owners of the wall know that we are set and ready to go but it looks like the governor is not going to let that happen so they have agreed to let us move the wall to Wednesday, Sept. 15 through Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.”
Phlipot said ir was a hard decision to move the wall’s visit to September 2021.
”The schools would rather come in the fall than the spring and the last two times we have hosted the wall in September,” she said. “The city of Sidney requested the month of September. I know that this date is more dangerous for the motorcycles. Most of you know I have been holding out for a miracle but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen so here is the official notice. The wall escort, the Traveling Vietnam Wall and all programs that surround the wall have been moved to September 2021. The Vietnam Car Show will be held on July 18, 2020, in Tawawa Park if the rules the Governor and the Health Dept approve.
A new addition to the display is 1,000 wooden crosses which Upper Valley Career Center students worked on. Because school was closed, volunteers went to Upper Valley CC to complete the crosses, she said.
The list of names has been completed and the dog tags for the crosses have been ordered. Each dog tag will contain the name of five fallen heroes. In all, 7,493 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines will be honored.
John Bertsch is working on an eternal flame, which is almost complete.
“That was a surprise for almost everyone on the committee!” said Phlipot. “It is beautiful.
“We are truly blessed the community responded to our plea to help fund the event and I think if we watch our expenses we will still be able to cover all the additional cost of having to move the date of the event,” she said.
”This is one of the hardest emails that I have ever written. Please understand, I feel like I have let everyone down and yet my hands are tied,” she said.