The Walll That Heals Site Summary for Swannanoa, NC
SITE: Swannanoa, NC
DATES: September 22-25, 2011
Our escort began with Ob Jammer (Bill Emerson) meeting us at the West Park Inn in Kinston NC. Since last year’s slight mistakes, Ob has scoped out the parking lots of our meeting places with a better understanding as to how the truck and trailer maneuver, thus not getting us into jams that we can’t get out of. Our first stop was Ray Price Harley-Davidson of Raleigh, NC, second stop was Harley-Davidson Greensboro, NC, third stop was Wilco-Hess Conover, NC, and our final stop was Harley-Davidson of Asheville NC where the Wall That Heals was to be setup on their grounds. All across the state of North Carolina, we picked up additional bikers at each location without a problem. Unfortunately on last two miles of our escort, an accident occurred behind the last bike that shut the interstate down for a few hours. Luckily, none of the bikers or 4 wheelers that were in our group were involved.
Swannanoa is located at the foothills of a mountain; with the Harley-Davidson dealership being the first business as you travel down the hill. The back drop of the mountain behind the Wall That Heals with the new lighting system was truly an awesome sight at night.
The sponsors of the event, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 124 Asheville NC had several ceremonies commencing with the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday as follows: Welcome by Lester Bullock, Presentation of Colors by Owen High School JROTC, Invocation by Monty Fuchs, Pledge of Allegiance by Lester Bullock, National Anthem by Swannanoa First Baptist Church Ensemble, Missing Man Table & Honors Ceremony by Reynolds High School JROTC, Introduction of Speaker by Lester Bullock, Keynote Speaker Cliff Dodson, Wreath Laying by Presenters, Benediction by Monty Fuchs and Retire the Colors by Owen High School JROTC.
On Sunday two ceremonies were held the first being to salute Gold and Blue Star Families to recognize their sacrifice and pay respect to them. Prior to the honor ceremony the families were treated to lunch. The second ceremony was the official Closing Ceremony of the Wall That Heals visit to the community as follows: Welcome by Lester Bullock, Presentation of Colors by Enka High School JROTC, Invocation by Monty Fuchs, Pledge of Allegiance by Lester Bullock, Reflections of the Wall by Vietnam Veterans, Benediction by Monty Fuchs, Retire Colors by Enka High School JROTC, concluding with Taps.
After the Closing Ceremony the Wall That Heals was disassembled and packed up ready to depart on Tuesday morning with the next escort to Sanford, NC.
Bob and Brenda Dobek
Site Managers, The Wall That Heals