Vietnam Wall coming to Saugerties

(Photo by Maureen Welsh)

The traveling replica of the Vietnam Wall will be coming to Saugerties July 19-22 for public viewing at Cantine Field.

Sponsored by the Ulster County Veterans Services Agency and Saugerties veterans, the movable wall is about 5/8ths the scale of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. Like the memorial wall in Washington, erected in 1984, the replica contains the names of the more than 58,000 American men and women killed during the Vietnam War, which officially ended in April 1975.

Ulster County lost 42 men in the Vietnam War, 13 from Kingston and five from Saugerties. Kingston has a permanent memorial with the names of Vietnam KIAs, located at the army reserve center on Kiersted Avenue. It also has a War Memorial for those killed in all wars in front of the County Office Building on Fair Street.

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Col. Roger Donlon, 85, a Saugerties native, awarded one of the first Medals of Honor in Vietnam, will speak at for ceremonies at the wall on Thursday.

According to Ken Swart of Saugerties, a Vietnam combat veteran, an “honor convoy”  of some 200 motorcycles will form in New Baltimore the morning of July 18, and travel south on the Thruway to Exit 19 Kingston, for arrival around 11 a.m. The motorcade will proceed down Broadway to Route 9W and north to Saugerties, where the Wall will be set up.

Opening Ceremonies are at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 19 at Cantine Field. The public is invited and the memorial will be available to visitors until Sunday.

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