A Native American honor staff stands next to the traveling replica of the Vietnam wall at Enid Woodring Regional Airport. (Staff Photo by BILLY HEFTON)

At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., personal memorials lie in front of the wall, honoring those whose names are imprinted there. Just like that wall, the replica that is part of the Cost of Freedom Traveling Tribute also had memorials placed in front of it.

Woodring Wall of Honor, inside Enid Woodring Regional Airport, was the site of the Cost of Freedom Traveling Tribute this past weekend. Coordinator Elaine Johns said Indian artifacts were lying against the wall as well as several flowers laid in front of panels.

A small American flag also marked an area where a loved one’s name appears and a glow stick from the opening ceremony was used to illuminate the name of one veteran. Near another panel a black flag bore the inscription: “In loving memory, George Edwin Meixner, 1938-1968.”

Those items will be preserved by the Wall of Honor to be part of the display in the Wall of Honor museum when it is built, Johns said.

“There is no way to track how many people came through. We had a slow but steady crowd here to see the whole exhibit,” she said.

Cost of Freedom Traveling Tribute is a display commemorating military men and women involved in past and recent wars. The tribute recognizes police and firefighters, as well as veterans of World War II, Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. Other exhibits on display were tributes to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and U.S. presidents.

Johns was so impressed by the turnout, she plans to investigate obtaining a replica of the Vietnam wall for Woodring Wall of Honor to be kept permanently. She said Sunday she will talk with the mayor, city manager and airport manager about the project.

“I want to see if the city can secure a copy and raise funds to keep a memorial like it here forever,” she said.

On Saturday, more than 50 motorcyclists paraded by the memorial, and on Sunday morning, a worship service was held at the Wall of Honor. Viewing of the tribute ended at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Members of Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 45th Fires Brigade will pick up the tribute’s wreath and eternal flame and move them to the Wall of Honor until after the Memorial Day ceremony.

The flags will remain up until after the Red Dirt Run of Honor, which begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Wall of Honor. The marathon honors Oklahoma’s fallen heroes.

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