Posted by Frank Hebb & Mary Jones on Apr 30, 2019
Opening and Closing Ceremonies for Lewisville Wall that Heals Events
Led by Lewisville Morning Rotary Members 
and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 920
 
With it's long standing tradition and reputation for patriotism and honoring of our flag, Lewisville Morning Rotary served as the City of Lewisville hosts for the opening and closing ceremonies at the mobile Wall that Heals. The mobile Wall that Heals is a 3/4 replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. The City of Lewisville was honored to be the only Texas city to host the mobile memorial during 2019. The city coordinated and arranged volunteers (including Rotary members) to erect the wall, provide 24 hour assistance and guidance for visitors and disassemble the wall after the closing ceremony. Our club was honored to be the hosts for the opening and closing ceremonies. Assisting us in these duties was the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 920.
 
Our participation centered around performing portions of our Annual Flag Retirement Ceremonies at both the opening of the Wall that Heals and the closing ceremony for the 4 day event.
 
 
Club President Ray Bowens with Opening Comments
Jeff Siebert leading the pledge
Tom Rowe reading the last American Flag used in Vietnam War
Todd Taylor reading the history behind The Wall that Heals
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 920 
 
The closing ceremony followed 3 1/2 days of visitors from through out the area visiting the wall and its accompanying mobile museum. It has been reported that the event was seen by an average of 600 visitors an hour during the day light hours. The wall includes lighting for those that chose to visit at night.
 
The closing ceremony included the lowering and presentation of the flags used throughout the 4 day event. One of the flags was presented to the Joanne Rogers in honor of resident Steve Davenport, the Vietnam Veteran and Lewisville resident that was instrumental in arranging for the mobile Wall that Heals to be displayed in Lewisville. The other flag was presented to the City of Lewisville Mayor protem Brandon Jones to be flown at City Hall.
 
Mark Smith, Terry Kasen provided a rich history of our flag design and an introduction to the appropriate way to retire an American Flag by burning followed by the ceremonial burning of a retired flag.
 
One of the most moving portions of the closing ceremony was the missing man toast led by Vietnam Vet Gary Steel. See YouTube video of the Missing Man Toast by clicking here.
 
Both the opening and closing ceremonies were well attended by members of our community that included veterans from all services that participated in Vietnam and other wars and conflicts.