The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 11, 2013

Today's Memorial Wall dedication honors veterans

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Today is the day we honor the sacrifices of the men and women who have done so much to preserve our way of life.

It is Veterans Day, and we join the rest of the country in paying our respects to those who have served, and those currently serving, in our armed forces.

Without their sacrifices, we would not be able to enjoy the freedoms we have.

Today is a little extra special here in Enid, as the retired traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall that will have a permanent home at Enid Woodring Regional Airport will be dedicated during a ceremony beginning at 11 a.m.

Getting the wall here was a labor of love. It was purchased from a Texas-based veterans group last December, and will have a permanent home adjacent to the Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park.

Fundraising efforts in the community raised $250,000, which matched by an anonymous donation of $250,000, made up the $500,000 purchase price of the wall. The fundraising committee wound up raising more than $400,000 in all and received approximately another $125,000 to $150,000 in assistance in donated materials and labor.

Organizers expect 3,000 to 5,000 people at today’s ceremony.

Keynote speaker at the ceremony will be Col. Leon “Lee” Ellis, a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War who was shot down and held prisoner for 51⁄2 years in the notorious “Hanoi Hilton” North Vietnamese prison, where he was held captive with Sen. John McCain and others.

Addition of the Vietnam Memorial Wall is just the latest example of how much Enid as a community cares for and honors our veterans.

We urge you to attend today’s ceremony, and if you can’t we urge you to go see the Vietnam Memorial Wall and Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park when you can.

Most importantly, we ask that you thank a veteran today for the sacrifices he or she made for you.