SIDNEY — The Shelby County Historical Society (SCHS) is looking for volunteers to help erect the traveling replica of the Vietnam Memorial wall, which the organization will display in Custenborder Park, Sept. 3-6.
The display, a Field of Valor featuring American flags, and several community events scheduled to support and coincide with the display have been planned to acknowledge 2015’s anniversary connection to six U.S. wars. It is a continuation of the society’s year-long project, A Year of Valor.
The wall will travel in a semi with a motorcycle escort from the Wapakoneta VFW hall beginning at 6 p.m., Sept. 2. Volunteers will begin to put the exhibit together at 7 a.m., Sept. 3. To register to assist in the project, call 498-1653.
SCHS Director Tilda Phlipot has added activities since the event was announced in February. The schedule so far includes the following, all at the wall unless otherwise noted:
• Throughout the weekend, Gateway Arts Council will exhibit in its galleries works by local veterans who have participated it GAC’s annual Bad Art by Good People program.
• The Sidney VFW will operate a food booth on site throughout the weekend. Proceeds will benefit the Shelby County Vets to DC.
• The Sidney Civic Band will perform at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 3, in a concert honoring the military, veterans and first responders.
• Dave Taylor, of Medina, a colonel retired from the Special Forces, U.S. Army Reserve, will speak at 10 a.m., Sept. 4.
• A cruise to the wall will show vehicles entered by area car enthusiasts from 6 to 9 p.m. The entry fee to show a car will be $10.
• The Sidney Rotary Club will host a pancake breakfast for $6 per person beginning at 8 a.m., Sept. 5. Proceeds will support student scholarships.
• SCHS and Can’t Stop Running will host a 5K walk or run, beginning at the wall at 8:30 a.m., Sept. 5. Registration will open soon at cantstoprunningco.com.
• Motorcyclists can participate in an honor ride past the wall at 2 p.m., Sept. 5.
• The Rev. Anthony Cutcher, soon to be pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights and Our Lady of the Rosary, Holy Cross and St. Adalbert Catholic churches in Dayton and currently president of the National Federation of Priests Councils based in Chicago, will conduct a Catholic Mass at 10:30 a.m., Sept. 6. The Mass will be broadcast on Ave Maria Radio.
• Closing ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m., Sept. 6. At 3 p.m., the wall will be disassembled. Beginning at 3 p.m., SCHS will conduct a roll call of valor, reading the names, one by one, that are on the flags in the Field of Valor as each banner is retired and presented to the person who purchased it.
To date, Phlipot said 100 flags have been purchased. In 2010, 1,100 flew during the first Sidney Field of Flags exhibit. A flag costs $30 and includes the flag, an 8-foot pole, and the rebar that goes into the ground. Phlipot said, the flags will honor veterans and first responders, “anyone who puts his life in danger to take care of the community.” Each flag will be marked with the veteran or first responder’s name and a brief description of his service. They will be for sale throughout the event, but those purchased in advance will be installed in the field on Aug. 30 and wave throughout the weekend.
To purchase a flag, call 498-1653, visit www.shelbycountyhistory.org, or mail a check, payable to Shelby County Historical Society, and a phone number for confirmation of tag information to the historical society at 201 N. Main Ave., Sidney, OH 45365.
The Sidney Daily News will commemorate the valor Americans have shown in conflicts throughout the country’s history by publishing weekly stories about area men and women who fought in those wars.
“2015 is the 240th anniversary of the start of the Revolutionary War, the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the 65th anniversary of the start of the Korean conflict, the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam conflict and the 20th anniversary of Desert Storm,” said Phlipot in February.