The American Veterans Traveling Tribute to the Vietnam Memorial Wall was in Faribault for five days. Escorted into town on Wednesday, August 31 with motorcycles and cars leading the way along a flag lined route, the traveling memorial was set up at the Rice County Fair Grounds until Monday afternoon.

The event was free to attend and was organized by the Faribault Elks Lodge #1166, Faribault American Legion Post 43, Faribault VFW Post 1562, Marine Corps League, and veteran organizations. The traveling wall is 80% to scale and along with the Mobile Military Museum, two fields of crosses, wreathes for each military branch, and all of the displays, and veterans information, it was a moving sight.

Many people may never have the chance to visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall, but the efforts of so many people to bring the traveling wall to Faribault, allowed people to pay respects, learn about an important chapter in our nation's history, and connect with resources. Organizers were hoping that 20,000 people would be able to visit the Traveling Wall at the Rice County Fairgrounds, but during it's 5 day, 24 hour per day stay in Faribault, it is estimated that closer to 25,000 people visited the tribute.

During my visit to the traveling wall, I looked around to see members of several generations respectfully moving through the display, some pausing to search for a name, others laying a flower or memento in front of a panel. With the help of a volunteer and the directory, I was able to locate the name of family member on the wall. A lot of time and effort went into bringing the Wall to Faribault, and the efforts of that committee shined as the Traveling Wall was a touching tribute to those who served.

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