Traveling Vietnam Wall

Honoring Our AMERICAN HEROS

In Big Bear Lake at Meadow Park, 41220 Park Avenue, the largest replica of the

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will include incidents:  9-11, World War II,

Korean War, Fort Hood, Law Enforcement and Firefighters.

                                                                              Courtesy of Big Bear Productions, Tom Hastain


E.T. Russell, September 18, 2013 ____ The community of Big Bear Valley can feel privileged for the efforts of a variety of civic leaders commandeering the opportunity of displaying the Traveling Vietnam Wall in Big Bear Lake, California. Several have contributed financially to the expenses, that make it possible to host the Wall. There is no cost to the public to view during the three days it will be in the valley. The caravan trailers will arrive Wednesday afternoon on Big Bear Boulevard near the village in front of the Veterans Memorial Park. The final location for the Wall to reside until Sunday September 29th will be at Meadow Park, 41220 Park Avenue, in Big Bear Lake.  

The ‘Traveling Vietnam Wall’ video (above) was filmed and produced by Tom Hastain of Big Bear Productions.   Hastain is the proud father of two sons in active duty. One son is serving with the U.S. Navy and the other U.S. Army.   The video will be shown as a history teaching tool in school classrooms before students will be bussed to the site; where they will have the opportunity to observe the Wall for themselves.

In the video, Veterans of the U.S. Marine League Big Bear Valley Detachment #1038 narrate the short film. Air Force Colonel Jack Briner comments, ‘the purpose for the Wall with the list of the war casualties is to protect their honor.’ Richard Collier speaks simply to the children about a war that they probably had not heard about. Dennis Bracken tells about his father and brother serving in Vietnam.  

‘They gave up their tomorrow, that we might have our today!’ Terry Porter reminds us. Among more than  58,195 names of those killed in action listed on Vietnam on the Wall are seven from Big Bear Valley. 

They are:

US Navy Seaman Richard L. Croxen, KIA December 8, 1965,

US Army Staff Sergeant Louis D. Ridings, KIA May 23, 1966,

US Navy Lt. Commander Daniel L. Strong, KIA October 26, 1966,

US Army Specialist 4 Ray E. Moran, Jr., KIA August 9, 1967,  

US Marine Corp Corporal Donald N. Cooper, KIA February 29, 1968,

US Marine Corp Private First Class Robert L. Pearly, KIA June 4, 1969,

US Army Chief Warrant Officer Jack D. Knepp, KIA November 29, 1969   

With this thought in mind, everyone is encouraged to visit anytime throughout the three days. The public is invited at no admission fee. There are no hours scheduled so that visitors to the site can appreciate the continuous viewing. Every individual may take as much time as they wish, to reflect, locate names on the Wall as desired in the park. The Vietnam Memorial Wall is brought to our community for each person to experience as they wish.  

The Grand Ceremony will be held at Meadow Park September 28th, Saturday morning at 10:00 A.M. Vietnam Veteran Retired Colonel Paul Cook, U.S. Congressman will be the Keynote speaker.  The public is welcome to attend the memorial ceremony that will be a tribute to all that served during the Vietnam War.

The Traveling Vietnam Wall, presented by the American Veteran Traveling Tribute (AVTT), has traveled and been  displayed in other U.S. cities.  It is an 80% scale replica of the stationary Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.  When assembled the wall spans to 360-foot in length and stands at eight feet tall.  Reese Troublefield and the park district staff have a newly planted grass area prepared for the large display. Caltrans has cleaned, repaired and black-topped Big Bear Boulevard. Businesses along the route have freshened-up, for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

For the Saturday morning event visit: BigBearLake.net/Events. Getting to the ceremony there are four parking areas. Parking spaces are limited at Meadow Park and with only one-way traffic for drop-off designated on Park Avenue.  There will be ADA parking only on Saturday at Meadow Park. Snow Summit’s over-flow parking lot is available for 500 vehicles and will have a shuttle running to Meadow Park from 8:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. Veterans Park on Big Bear Boulevard will have 50 spaces open with Miss Liberty Tour Bus shuttling from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. In the Big Bear Lake Village the Bartlett Avenue at the Chamber of Commerce will offer shuttle service from Miss Liberty, also. For further transportation and parking information visit Citybigbearlake.com/thewall.