The American Veterans Travelling Tribute’s Traveling Vietnam Wall will be coming to North Georgia, at the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds from May 21-26th. The Wall be open 24hrs a day starting Thurs at 12 noon and ending Monday at 2pm. The wall will be open to the public at no cost; however, donations will be collected for local veterans in need. The event is being sponsored by The American Legion Post 82 and the Ellijay Lions Club. The Traveling Vietnam Wall is an 80% (size wise) replica of the Vietnam Veterans wall that contains all the veterans who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.
FYN recently spoke with Judd York a local business man, and son of a veteran, who, along with the American Legion Riders (Bike Club), spearheaded the effort to bring the memorial to Ellijay.
He spoke of a need for more volunteers, particularly grief counselors,
“There will be preachers there and stuff, but as far as a certified somebody that can deal with somebody in a situation we don’t have nobody that I know of.”
York spoke of his respect for all veterans, being the son of a marine, and the sacrifices they made/make being the inspiration for his motives. He became visibly emotional when thinking of the costs paid by veterans and their families.
“It’s just respect, you know. The paid the ultimate price and they’re still paying.”
A motorcycle/car escort which will meet at the Legion Post at approximately 1:30 to escort the wall from Chatsworth to the Lions Club Fairgrounds. The Wall will be traveling from Youngstown Ohio. Riders are not allowed to escort the wall from more than an hour from a destination due to AVTT regulations.
York spoke about the close relationship between the biker and veteran communities.
“Vets and motorcycles go hand in hand. Actually, the Hell’s Angels, the very first motorcycle gang was founded by Vets coming back from World War II, and they couldn’t adjust back into society. They wanted to keep doing things their way and they bought Harleys and that’s how the Hell’s Angels was founded. And from that, other motor cycle gangs and clubs and organizations evolved, but that started it. They go hand in hand.”
The Traveling Vietnam Wall will be at the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds 1729 South Main Street Ellijay, Ga May 21-26. For more information call Judd York (706)-276-3528 or Mark Simmons (706)-889-6100 or visit ellijaywall.org.