The first reunion started
out with a small group of veterans and supporters who
wanted to show their respect to those who never made it back from Vietnam.
The turnout that year was about 3,000 people. A three-fifths-scale replica
of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., 288 feet in length and
six feet tall, was escorted to Wickham Park in Melbourne, Florida, in April,
2009, by 2,500 motorcycles.
The week-long event has grown to be the largest veteransí reunion in the
country with as many as 100,000 people attending this year. In recent years
the memorial added The Korean War Tribute and the Some Gave All Tribute,
which honors those who died in Iraq, Afghanistan and other wars since
Vietnam. There are also panels that memorialize those who died on September
11 from terrorist attacks. To honor all veterans, the eventís name was
recently changed to Vietnam and All Veterans Reunion.
The wall visiting area is open 24 hours a day for seven days, and is staffed
by personnel who assist with finding names on the wall and supply counseling
to those in need.
On the other side of the park, festivities are held that include performers,
bands, vendors, food, drink and an opportunity to see old friends.
Those of you who attend every year know what a good time it is, and those of
you who havenít attended in the past should seriously consider doing so.
This event is free and open to the public. Information about the event,
scheduling, etc., is available at
I hope to see you there.