Local News

September 28, 2011

3,000 motorcycles to escort tribute

Traveling exhibit makes only Indiana stop in Kokomo through Sunday

KOKOMO — More than 3,000 motorcycles and a Vietnam-era helicopter will escort a traveling military tribute through Miami County into Kokomo today.

The procession will guide the American Veterans Traveling Tribute as it makes its only stop in the state. It includes a replica of the Vietnam Wall, a World War II and Korean conflict tribute, Walk of Heroes Collection, 9/11 tribute, Fort Hood tribute and police and fire tribute.

Thousands of veterans and other citizens are expected to visit during its four days in Kokomo, organizers said. The tribute will be open 24 hours a day during that time.

The tribute officially opens Thursday, but the impressive procession guiding it into Kokomo will happen this afternoon. The community is invited to watch the motorcade.

Riders will mass at Brandt’s Harley Davidson in Wabash and at Grissom Air Museum at Grissom Air Reserve Base to escort the tribute. Those interested in being part of the escort must check in at those locations no later than 1:30 p.m.

The riders from Wabash and the tribute are expected to leave at about 3:15 p.m., with an Indiana State Police escort, and head westbound on Ind. 24 to U.S. 31.

The group will then head south on U.S. 31 and rendezvous with the Grissom group.

The escort is expected to roll into Howard County between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. today. The procession will end at the General Motors Component Holdings parking lot at Boulevard and U.S. 31.

Opening ceremonies are at 1 p.m. Thursday.

A part of the tribute includes an 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Wall with volunteers manning computers from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to assist people in finding specific names on the memorial. Books are available at all times for the same purpose.

An education program is at 9 a.m. Friday, with many area schools planning to attend.

There will be a special ceremony starting at noon Friday to honor police and firefighters.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, the names of the 26 Howard County residents who died during the Vietnam War will be read and will be honored with a 21-gun salute and the sounding of the bell for those that died.

The exhibit closes at 3 p.m. Sunday.

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