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Patriots bring traveling veterans tribute

Sequim Gazette staff

A Cost of Freedom Tribute, Traveling Vietnam Wall and Gold Tag Tribute for Iraq and Afghanistan visits the peninsula Sept. 28-Oct. 2 at Olympic Cellars Winery, 255410 Highway 101.

 

A motorcycle escort meets at 11 a.m. today, Sept. 28, at 7 Cedars Casino to provide an escort to Olympic Cellars. All riders and vehicles are welcome.

 

Ed Bedford, one of the event organizers, said he expects up to 300 veteran riders to make the trek.

Sequim residents may be able to catch a glimpse of the wall from U.S. Highway 101 overpasses a little after 1 p.m.

 

On Thursday, Sept. 29, the tribute set-up begins at 8 a.m. with viewing available 24/7 through Sunday, Oct. 2. Ceremonies and services are scheduled each day.

 

The American Veterans Traveling Tribute was owned at one time by Don Allen of Texas and former peninsula resident Steve Doty. An Air Force veteran and local banker, Doty founded the the American Veterans Traveling Tribute. He died this past July. A tribute to Doty is slated for Saturday, Oct. 1.

 

As Bedford notes, “It’s not just the wall, it’s the American Veterans Traveling Tribute” that includes memorials for several wars and a dog tag display of those who have sacrificed their lives in the war against terrorism.

 

The Vietnam Wall replica is 80 percent of the original size, Bedford said — 358 feet long with all 52,000 names of those who died in Vietnam.

 

Local veterans, police officers and firefighters also will be honored.

 

Veterans stand guard day and night at the site.

 

The goal, event organizers say, is to raise $15,000 to help pay for advertising and expenses for the traveling tribute.

 

For more information, visit www.avtt.org or call Ed Bedford at 360-808-5498.
 
Schedule of events:
(Tribute viewing available 24/7 until departure)
• Thursday, Sept. 29
8 a.m.-noon — Tribute set up (volunteers welcome)
1 p.m. — Blessing of the tribute
5:30 p.m. — Brief  opening ceremony
• Friday, Sept. 30
All-day viewing
6 p.m. — Opening ceremony
• Saturday, Oct. 1
All-day viewing
Noon — Run to Wall, Ride of Honor
6 p.m. — Evening ceremony (Honor the Area Fallen, candlelight vigil, tribute to Steve Doty)
• Sunday, Oct. 2
11 a.m. — All-denominational worship service
5 p.m. — Closing ceremony.

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