What to know: Grand opening celebration for Perryville veterans memorial

What to know: Grand opening celebration for Perryville veterans memorial
America's Wall in Perryville is a full-scale, black granite sister wall to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, identical to the one on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (Source: KFVS, MIke Mohundro)

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Day two of the grand opening celebration for Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial in Perryville will be on Sunday, May 19.

Blue Angels flyover in Perryville 5/18

LIVE LOOK: Blue Angels to fly over the Perryville veterans memorial & into the Cape Girardeau Regional Air Festival>> http://bit.ly/2EjZzeV

Posted by KFVS-TV on Saturday, May 18, 2019

The celebration will include food trucks and Huey helicopter rides.

Organizers say they will be commemorating what has been accomplished so far, provide an opportunity for veterans and their supporters to come together and help play for future projects and events.

Perryville veterans memorial grand opening ceremony 5/18

LIVE: Perryville veterans memorial Grand Opening Ceremony>> http://bit.ly/2EjZzeV

Posted by KFVS-TV on Saturday, May 18, 2019

A design for a proposed Korean War Memorial was debuted during the grand opening weekend.

Schedule of events includes:

Saturday, May 18 - Grounds open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • 9:45 a.m. - Huey helicopter flyover
  • 10 a.m. - Posting of the Colors by MNVM Honor Guard, National Anthem by MNVM Chorus, remarks and keynote speakers, UCLS Children’s Choir and Benediction.
  • Grand opening ceremony will be rung in by the Missouri American Legion Riders’ ceremonial bell at 9:55 a.m. Governor Mike Parson will open the dedication ceremony.
  • 12:45 p.m. - Barbershop Quartet Performance at the Pavilion
  • Clair Steiner of South Dakota will be on site with his corvette, “Riding with Private Malone,” for all veterans to sign. Organizers say Steiner is a Navy veteran and travels around the country to honor veterans.
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Vietnam Veterans Chapter 458 of St. Peters/St. Charles will have a Vietnam equipment display in the Welcome Center chapel

Sunday, May 19 - Grounds open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • 10 a.m. - Worship service by Rev. Robert Blake. The MNVM Honor Guard will open and close the worship service.
  • 11 a.m. - Flag-folding ceremony by Mike Phillips
  • 1 p.m. - Immanuel men’s choir performance at the Pavilion
  • 1:45 p.m. - Closing ceremony with taps

Friends of Army Aviation will offer rides in a Huey Helicopter, an Army combat chopper in service from 1960 to 2016, when the last unit in service was retired. Rides will be offered from 9 a.m. through sunset on Saturday and Sunday. It costs $50 and supports the FOAA mission of honoring veterans and preserving the memory of legacy Army Aviation aircraft and crews.

Tickets

Admission to the event is free.

To buy tickets for the Huey helicopter rides, visit the Welcome Center at the Memorial or call 314-540-0367.

The site is not funded by the government. You can always help the Memorial by donating or volunteering.

Parking

Directions to grand opening parking lot and shuttle service:

If you do not require accessible parking or have a pass, all cars/trucks will park at TG Missouri to access the shuttles. From Interstate 55 Exit 129 at Perryville: Go North on Perryville Boulevard (Missouri Highway 51) toward Chester, Ill., for 2.8 miles. Turn left onto Plattin Road and enter Parking Lot 3 at TG Missouri. Shuttles will run continuously between this parking lot and MNVM from 8 am to 2 pm on Saturday, May 18. (Adress for GPS is 1121 Plattin Road, Perryville, MO 63775)

Directions to MNVM:

From Interstate 55 Exit 129 at Perryville: Go North on Perryville Boulevard (Missouri Highway 51) toward Chester, Ill., for 3.3 miles. Turn left onto Hwy AC (Veterans Memorial Pkwy) and continue 1.3 miles to Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial. IMPORTANT: ONLY THOSE WITH HANDICAPPED PLATES/PLACARDS OR STAFF/VOLUNTEER PARKING PASSES WILL BE ALLOWED TO PARK ON SITE. (Address for GPS is 1172 Veterans Memorial Parkway, Perryville, MO 63775)

Motorcycle parking:

Motorcycles will be allowed to park on designated areas of Veterans Memorial Parkway (Highway AC) until those areas are filled. Traffic is one way, so you must enter Hwy AC from Missouri Highway 51. Parking officials and signs will provide directions. Riders are asked to observe our quiet times for ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday from 9:45 to 11:15 am.

According to organizers, Route AC to the Memorial will be closed on Saturday, May 18 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for shuttle service.

Additional parking with a shuttle service will be available at TG Missouri Building 3 and Atlas.

What to bring in/not bring in

Organizers say there will be tents, but they anticipate a large crowd so not everyone may fit under the tents.

Permitted items include:

  • Lawn chairs
  • Outdoor blankets
  • Sunscreen
  • Parasols or umbrellas
  • Cash
  • Service animals used by the hearing and/or visually impaired.
  • Smoking is allowed in designated areas only. It is strictly prohibited at the Wall.

Prohibited items include:

  • Knives
  • Fireworks and explosives
  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Barbecues or grills
  • Coolers - The only exceptions are for infant food and food allergies. The food must be limited to the individual with the allergy, and you may use one small soft-sided cooler to carry the food. No outside beverages are permitted.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed
  • Radios
  • Outdoor speakers
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones)

You can click here for a list of FAQ.

Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial is located in Perryville, Mo. It is dedicated to honoring all of America’s soldiers and their families.

It includes a full-scale, black granite replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The monument bears the names of nearly 59,000 men and women killed during the Vietnam War.

Phase 1 of the project was completed in August 2018.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson toured the site later that same month.

By January 2019, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall replica was finished and available for public viewing.

A list of projects include:

  • Welcome Center - Complete
  • America’s Wall - Complete
  • Veterans and Military Museum - Complete
  • Honor Flag Memorial - Coming soon
  • Veterans Hall - Coming soon
  • Interfaith Chapel - Coming soon
  • Scattering Oak Grove - Coming soon
  • Cemetery - Coming soon
  • Reflecting Fountain - Coming soon

Staff said it could take five to seven years to fully complete the memorial.

James M. Edelman and his wife, Charlene, donated the land for the memorial, as well as funding for the welcome center and museum. It fulfilled a promise that Edelman made to his fallen comrades in Vietnam more than 50 years ago.

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