LANCASTER — Prepare to hear the rumbling of engines, a purposeful, rolling roar that will rev up as Patriot Guard, American Legion Riders and other patriotic motorcyclists get ready to escort The Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall (AV Wall) to its place of honor at the Palmdale Amphitheater on Thursday.
The motorcycle and support vehicle escort will rally around the AV Wall trailer at Dodge RAM of the West, 43226 10th St. West in Lancaster. Riders and following vehicles will gather at the east corner of Avenue K-8 and 10th Street West.
At 9 a.m., the kickstands go up and the Ride for the AV Wall is on.
The motorcade, with plenty of law enforcement support, will right turn up 10th Street West and roll with convoy discipline up to Lancaster Boulevard, executing a smart right turn, then right again on Sierra Highway.
From Sierra Highway, the motorcade will roll south about 10 miles to Palmdale Boulevard, turning right onto the Boulevard, right again at 10th Street West, then left and riding West to the Palmdale Amphitheater at 2723 West Rancho Vista Blvd. (Ave. P), where the components of the mobile memorial will be assembled by AV Wall volunteers.
“We hope that people will turn out along the route and be there to wave flags and show support,” Vietnam veteran Mike Bertell, president of the AV Wall Committee, said. “We think this is a great opportunity for people to show their love of country and their support for the veterans and active military who defend the nation.”
For 10 years, the AV Wall has helped bring communities of Southern California — and particularly the Antelope Valley — in reverent salute for the more than 58,000 troops killed or missing in action during the Vietnam War that ended officially in 1975, but still occupies the thoughts of Americans today.
The AV Wall is a half-scale replica of the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall in Washington, with every name of every fallen or missing troop inscribed on it. It will be on display at the Palmdale Amphitheater from Nov. 7 through Nov. 12.
“We hope to get the 10-year Anniversary of the AV Wall off to a thundering start with the escort to its display site, which will run through the Veterans Day weekend,” Bertell said. A visit to the AV Wall, he said, offers “a time to come together, remember, learn and heal.”