Members of the community attended the AVTT kick-off event in Kokomo's Foster Park
Community leaders and members of the media gathered at the Kokomo Arts Pavilion in Foster Park yesterday to hear the announcement of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute & Traveling Wall arrival to Kokomo this fall. The large exhibit travels throughout the country, and thousands of visitors are anticipated to visit Kokomo for this four day special event. Visit www.visitkokomo.org/veterans for a list of special hotel rates offered in Kokomo for AVTT visitors. The full press release is provided below.
Kokomo, IN — Thousands of people are expected to visit Kokomo in early fall when the America Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) and Traveling Wall come to Kokomo. Veterans, active members of America’s armed services and those who want to honor military veterans are expected to convene in Kokomo.
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute and Traveling Wall will be in Kokomo from September 29th to October 2nd.
The display will be open free to the public, 24 hours a day, on the GM Components Holdings grounds on the southeast corner of U.S. 31 and Boulevard.
“I praise our local DAV chapter 28 for bringing this memorial for its only Indiana appearance in 2011,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “Visiting the Traveling Tribute is an opportunity for each of us to reflect upon the price of our freedom and remember those who paid the ultimate price for that freedom.”
The traveling memorial will arrive in Kokomo on Wednesday, September 28th, behind hundreds of motorcyclists who will convene a special escort beginning in Wabash, IN.
During the four day event, thousands are anticipated to come to Kokomo from throughout Indiana and neighboring states.
“Based upon the economic data reported from other host communities, this is an incredible opportunity for local business owners to capitalize on an increased volume of traffic,” said Jeb Conrad, CEO/President Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance. “It is an honor to assist in this monumental community event honoring those that paved the way for our freedom.”
The AVTT’s mission is to travel the nation to honor, respect, and remember men and women who served, and to pay specific tribute to those who gave all in that service.
“”The American Veterans Traveling Tribute will allow veterans, family members, and visitors a chance to show their respect and honor a fallen comrade or a loved one or a friend once again,” said Jerry Fivecoate, Commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 28. “It will also be a great tool for local educators to share with students that all the freedoms they have in this country did not come without cost.”
“I feel that hosting the AVTT this fall is a tremendous privilege for Kokomo and Howard County, while paying a well-deserved tribute to our Veterans in the Central Indiana region,” praised Honorary Chairman and representative of Howard County Government, Tyler Moore. “I can’t thank the organizers enough! It will truly be a weekend to remember!”
Local planners are arranging guests to speak each day during special ceremonies. Speakers include Lance Trenary, President of Company Operations, Golden Corral, David Webb Vice President of Company Operations, Golden Corral, Jerome Kelly, District Manager, Golden Corral and Major General David L. Harris, Pentagon, who is also a 2011 Military Appreciation Days Honorary Chairmen.
“This event will be an outstanding way to pay tribute to all of our veterans in Howard County and those that have served our great country,” said 2011, Military Appreciation Days General Chairman Rick Riddle.
In addition to the Traveling Wall, the AVTT will present several Cost of Freedom memorials and exhibits. The Traveling Wall, the memorial’s emotional centerpiece, is an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. It is the largest Wall replica traveling the USA, and it will be staffed with volunteers who will use computers to help locate names and answer questions.
Across its 370-foot length the wall contains every name etched on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the National Mall at Washington D.C. At its apex the memorial is an impressive eight-feet tall.
A complete schedule of activities, ceremonies and special events will soon be available at www.kokomotribute.com.