“Most people have been touched by the military in some way,” said Frances Manzitto, Director of Tourism Sales, Visit Clarksville.
As a time of reflection, remembrance and reunion, Visit Clarksville—in conjunction with the Montgomery County Veterans Coalition—is hosting four days of activities to celebrate and honor all veterans “across the years, miles and conflicts” with the third annual Welcome Home Veterans event in Clarksville, Tennessee, September 13 – 17, 2017.
The scheduled events offer activities for you and your students to not only honor United States veterans, but to hear firsthand accounts of history through these activities:
The Ship that Won the War
September 6 – 16
Built in 1942, the USS LST 325 has been restored to its original condition and remains the only ship of its kind that is fully operational in the U.S. The ship will be docked in Clarksville and open for tours conducted by a crew of WWII, Korean and Vietnam veterans.
American Traveling Tribute Wall at Beachaven Vineyards and Winery
September 13 – 17
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute Wall—an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.—will arrive in Clarksville on Wednesday, September 13 at 3 p.m. Eight feet tall at its apex and 360 feet long, the Wall contains every name etched on the original monument.
Beginning at approximately 3:30 p.m. from Appleton Harley Davidson on US 41-A Bypass, your students could join the procession through town, as the Wall is delivered to Beachaven Vineyards & Winery.
The Wall will be open for public display 24 hours a day from noon Thursday, September 14, to 3 p.m. Sunday, September 17.
Field of Honor—Veterans Tribute
September 14 – 17
On-site at Beachaven Vineyards & Winery, the Field of Honor—Veterans Tribute flag display will pay tribute to the strength and unity of Americans—while honoring veterans who served the nation to preserve security and freedoms.
Flags may be purchased in honor of veterans or first responders for $40 online at www.welcomehomeveteranscelebration.com, www.healingfield.org, or by calling 931.647.2331. Purchased flags will be available for pick up after the event.
September 14, 7:30 p.m.
On the eve of National POW/MIA Remembrance Day, a remembrance ceremony will be held at First Baptist Church. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
Luncheon with Vietnam POW Bill Robinson
September 15, 11 a.m.
On September 20, 1965, Airman 1st Class Bill Robinson began a typical mission day as part of the team trying to rescue a downed pilot in North Vietnam—but he was captured by the Vietnamese and held for seven years and five months. Groups could join Robinson at a luncheon, where he’ll share the story of his experience as the longest-held enlisted prisoner of war in American history. Tickets are $22.
Bob Hope Tribute to the Troops
September 15, 7:30 p.m.
Allow groups to step back in time to the days of Bob Hope. Tribute Artist Bill Johnson and special guests will reenact the days when Hope traveled the world with the USO. Tickets are $39.
Welcome Home Parade
September 16, 10 a.m.
Marching bands, military vehicles, floats and more will command the streets in Downtown Clarksville. The parade begins at First Baptist Church and proceeds to the Montgomery County Courthouse. Applications are available for participants online.
Celebration Picnic and Bluegrass
September 16, 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
What’s for lunch? Barbecue and bluegrass. Following the parade, Beachaven Vineyards & Winery is hosting a picnic.
American Pride Concert
September 16, 7:30 p.m.
For the Welcome Home Veterans finale, American Pride is bringing back the songs, memories and authentic sounds of the most award-wining act in country music history: the legendary Statler Brothers. Tickets are $25, free to veterans, and available online.
To purchase tickets and learn more about Welcome Home Veterans, visit www.welcomehomeveteranscelebration.com. If students are interested in volunteering or participating in any of the activities or events, contact Frances Manzitto at [email protected] or 931.245.4345.
Photo courtesy of Visit Clarksville