The Wall That Heals visits Clinton Township, Michigan
The Wall That Heals Site Summary
LOCATION: Clinton Twp MI DATE: September 2-5, 2010
We were met in Marshall MI by American Legion Riders, Patriot Guard, and various other motorcycle groups totaling 147 bikes with 4 passenger cars and a towing support vehicle. As we drove along our course of 139 miles, two bikes went down. Thanks to Ruehle’s Towing, the bikes were picked up and the riders went to the hospital for examination. Luckily, the riders only received road rash on their arms and were not seriously injured.
Opening ceremony commenced with a blessing of the Wall by the Native American Veterans Association of Southeastern Michigan led by Chris Franklin. Followed by introduction of the Color Guard, the Star Spangled Banner, pledge of Allegiance, Welcome by Clinton Twp Supervisor Robert Cannon, invocation, laying of the wreaths, with guest speaker Barbara Rossmann, Missing Man Table recital by Mary Ann Hosey and closing remarks by Patrick Daniels of veterans of America Chapter 154, Rifle volley and taps.
We were honored to meet a local veteran that received a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and seven Purple Hearts in Viet Nam. He stated that during his tour of duty in the Nam that they were never told of the protesters in the states or the demonstrations that went on about the war. When he arrived at Detroit Metro airport, he was greeted by the protester’s and was spit upon. When he had been expecting the welcome home of a hero. He was very disappointed and later that was his reasoning for joining the American Legion Riders.
Closing ceremony commenced with a Motorcycle escort from the Resurrection Cemetery to the grounds of the Civic Center, the Star Spangled Banner, Pledge of Allegiance, Invocation, Guest Speaker Donald “Digger” Odell, Vietnam Veteran and Prisoner of War, Reading of “Dear Vietnam Veteran, Bagpiper (Amazing Grace) Closing remarks, Folding of the flag, Retrieve colors, rifle volley and taps.
Mr. Odell told of his experience in North Vietnam at the Hanoi Hilton, where he was held in captivity until he had been beaten so severely he was paralyzed. His captors not wanting to lower themselves to feeding him, took him to a prison camp south of Hanoi where they literally threw him in a cell. At that point he asked to crowd who do you think they put me in with, a pilot that had also been shot down but his former occupation was a physical therapist. Within six months he had him up walking again. He further stated that during his five and a half years in captivity that the only thing they kept them going was each other and their will to return home.
Bob and Brenda Dobeck, The Wall That Heals Site Managers
To learn more about The Wall That Heals, visit http://www.vvmf.org/twth