GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County’s own Rolling Thunder welcomed two memorial exhibits Tuesday afternoon with a roar from hundreds of motorcycle engines, fire truck sirens and flashing lights of law enforcement vehicles.
Yesterday’s procession ushered in the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall and a photo exhibit titled “Through the Eyes” through the city of Gallipolis at approximately 2:15 p.m. The procession traveled from Butler Landing onto Second Avenue (Ohio 7) to Pine Street (Ohio 160) and proceeded west on Jackson Pike to Ohio 588 to Ohio 325, where the memorials passed through the village of Rio Grande before reaching their destination at Bob Evans Farms.
The 24-hour display, “Honor our Heroes,” is hosted by the Gallia County Chapter 709 of the Vietnam Veterans and Bob Evans Farms, and is free and open to the public July 3-6. Both national and local heroes and will be honored through various exhibits. The display will feature the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, a memorial for 12 local Vietnam War veterans and a photo exhibit of more than 800 images from the Vietnam War titled, “Through the Eyes.”
The traveling wall is a 3/5-scale replica of the original memorial in Washington, D.C. It is six feet tall at the center and stretches 300 feet from end to end, showcasing 72 panels on each wing. The memorial has traveled to 46 states so far and visited more than 300 cities.
The photo exhibit,“Through the Eyes,” features more than 800 photographs taken by John Hosier, a Vietnam War veteran and four-time Purple Heart recipient.
The opening ceremony to the 24-hour display will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at Bob Evans Farms, with guest speaker Timothy Gorrell, director of the Ohio Veterans Service.
On Sunday, local pastor and veteran John Jackson will conduct a service at 9:30 a.m., and the closing ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. with guest speaker U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson.