By Angel MedFlight Contributor
American servicemen and women have given their lives to protect our freedoms. Police, firemen, and many others put their lives on the line in their daily jobs to protect our way of life. It is the cost of freedom. But thanks to the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, we as a nation have a way to remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country.
The AVTT has created the Cost of Freedom Tribute and Traveling Wall, which is coming soon to Buckeye, Ariz. Angel MedFlight is proud to sponsor the event which will be held May 9-12 at the Earl Edgar Recreational Facility.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will speak at the event Thursday at 5 p.m. Air Force Lt. Col. Thomas Cluff is also scheduled to address the crowd during the tribute’s stay in Buckeye.
AVTT Chief Executive Officer Kevin Weatherly says, “Our events are not about veterans paying tribute to other veterans; that has gone on far too long. Our primary focus is to get the general public and community out to pay tribute in a visible way to the men and women who they have asked to protect and serve this great country.”
The centerpiece of the Cost of Freedom Tribute is the Traveling Wall, an 80% replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Perhaps you haven’t been able to make the trip to our nation’s capital to pay tribute to someone you know who gave his or her life during that conflict. With the Traveling Wall, you have the chance to locate their names and make a rubbing off the memorial.
AVTT Event Coordinator Leah DeLuzio says the wall, “represents freedom and sacrifice and those that visit it seem to be profoundly affected regardless of the fact that it is a replica.” DeLuzio says the mobile nature of the AVTT tribute allows people around the country to celebrate freedom and honor heroes without having to travel far distances to do so.
What else will you see at the Cost of Freedom Tribute? A 190-foot standup display honoring all veterans and those serving today. There will be timelines for both the Korean War and World War II. The WWII timeline includes casualties by country while the timeline for the Korean War features battle maps
More recent military actions are also remembered with panels featuring casualties from the Grenada invasion, the bombing of the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and others.
As you stroll the grounds, you’ll come upon the 9/11 Memorial which features the names of those who lost their lives at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon along with Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Pa.
Law enforcement and firemen are also honored with panels listing casualties by state.
The AVTT describes the Cost of Freedom Tribute as “a one of a kind outdoor tribute, depicting Honor, Respect and Remembrance of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country.” DeLuzio says, “We partner with communities to help them develop and execute a patriotic interactive experience that offers an educational and memorable event for their heroes and participants.”
Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance is proud to continue our support of American servicemen and women and urges all to visit this unique tribute, whether it be in Buckeye or when it travels to your area.