Site Summary for Scranton, PA
SITE: Scranton, PA DATES: October 6-9, 2011 ATTEND: 12,500
We started our journey to Nay Aug Park with a 75 motorcycle escort. The day was cloudy and misting rain until we all gathered to depart, or as the bikers call it “Kick Stands Up”. With some very careful maneuvering, we avoided a couple of curb hops on the narrow streets of Scranton. We finally arrived at our destination all safe and sound. The park was very beautiful with the multi colored leaves of fall.
With the assistance of Rolling Thunder PA Chapter 3, American Legion Post 665 Dickinson City, Sons of the American Legion Post 221 and Friends of the Forgotten the Wall That Heals was assembled on Wednesday morning. Lunch was served to all the volunteers that assisted by Everhart Museum.
On Thursday morning an Opening Ceremony was held with the event as follows: Welcome and Presentation of Colors by the Marine Corps League, Invocation by Rev. Peter D. D`Angio, Pledge of Allegiance Lou Ross, National Anthem sang by Sandra Opshinsky and Gina Lupini, Welcome & Introduction Guest Speaker Mike Washo, Corey O`Brien, Bruce Smallacombe Lackawanna County Commissioners, Guest Speaker Jan C. Scruggs Founder and President, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Memorial POW/MIA Table Ceremony by Manuel Griffin, Presentation of Wreath Everhart Museum Board, Staff, & Volunteers Bruce Krell for Congressman Lou Barletta, God Bless America sung by Sandra Opshinsky and Gina Lupini, Closing Prayer or Blessing by Father Mike Klotin, Retire Colors by the Marine Corps League.
In addition several other ceremonies were held during the four day visit including two ceremonies on Saturday of the wreath laying and a ceremony to pay tribute to 2nd LT Carol Ann Drazba, Dunmore PA resident and the first American woman killed in Vietnam.
A candle light vigil was also held in another area of the Nay Aug Park where a memorial has been built to honor the fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several monuments have been erected there and candles were placed at their base. One of most awe inspiring features displayed during the visit was a lighted American flag. It stood behind the Wall That Heals and was a true sample of American patriotism and respect for the fallen soldiers names inscribed on the Wall.
On Monday it was time to pack up and head on down the road to the next site leaving behind new friends and fond memories of experiences shared during the stay.