Vietnam memorial comes to Rifle
RIFLE – Organizers expect more than 20,000 people to visit the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall, which comes to Rifle on Friday.They also expect some protesters from Saturday through next week, when The Wall is on display, said Ralph Koehler. Koehler is the finance officer for the Kelly-Hansen American Legion Post 78, which is responsible for bringing The Wall to Rifle.”We’ve heard of some protesters, but it will not be tolerated,” Koehler said. “We have access to 911, and security people will gently escort them off the premises.”A motorcade will escort The Moving Wall, a half-size replica of the original monument in Washington, D.C., around 2 p.m. as it makes its way down Railroad Avenue. The wall will be set up at a site behind Wamsley Elementary School at 224 E. 30th St. in north Rifle off of Highway 13.The Wall will be set up beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, and public viewing should begin around noon. An opening ceremony at 3 p.m. will feature local dignitaries, including U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo.A memorial ceremony will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, and a candlelight vigil at 9 p.m. Friday, June 24. The Wall will leave on Saturday, June 25.Volunteers are still needed to help with parking, at the information tent, and to help those looking for names on The Wall. “Just come on down and we’ll put you to work,” Koehler said. “We need all the help we can get.”Of the more than 58,000 names, four of the men have been reported as being from Rifle – David Laverne Girardo, Jerry Alan Hurd, Thomas Lynn Griffee and James Richard Smith.A free shuttle bus will run an hour and half before each ceremony from Rifle Middle School, 735 Railroad Ave., to the site in north Rifle. Contact Heidi Rice: 625-3245, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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