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Unveiling Saturday for E’town Vietnam Wall

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JEFF D’ALESSIO

The News-Enterprise

A tribute to Vietnam veterans that was years in the making will culminate Saturday with the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at Elizabethtown Nature Park Saturday.

The dedication is at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Beginning with ground work last October, 142 panels with more than 58,000 names of Americans who died in the Vietnam War were put into place last week.

The permanent structure was constructed in the park off Ring Road near Freeman Lake at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars.

Veterans Tribute Group President C.T. Christie said that the final touches included getting a POW monument in place Wednesday and having sod installed.

“To see everything coming into place is pretty special,” he said.

The dedication ceremony is expected to last about an hour.

Heather French Henry, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, will be the keynote speaker.

Hundreds of Vietnam veterans have been invited to the ceremony, Christie said. A large crowd is expected.

“You never really know how many will be here until they show up, but we expect to have a lot of people here,” he said.

The memorial is an 80-percent scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It was installed near the Hardin County Veterans Tribute in the park. The purchase and installation cost about $600,000.

Off-site parking arrangements have been set up to shuttle attendees in and out of the park Saturday.

TACK shuttles will run beginning at 11 a.m. from parking lots at Lakeside Worship Center, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and Republic Bank, all on Ring Road, and Heartland Elementary School, 2300 Nelson Drive, until capacity has been reached.

There will be limited VIP parking inside the park.

The last shuttles out of the event are expected to depart at 3:30 p.m., Elizabethtown Police Department spokesman John Thomas said.

More information is available by calling the Veterans Tribute Group at (270) 668-5775 or (270) 312-0463.

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.