Date: June 14, 2012
Contact: Carol Connelly, Director,
Media & Communication Services, ext. 5267, firstname.lastname@example.org
PNC to Host the American Veterans Traveling Tribute
WESTVILLE – Purdue University North Central will host the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) on its Westville campus from July 3 at 7 p.m. through July 7 at 11 a.m. This event is free and open to the public. The AVTT and surrounding memorials and exhibits will be open to guests 24 hours a day during its stay. It is appropriate for visitors of all ages.
This Traveling Tribute will provide visitors an opportunity to experience an 80-percent scale version of the Vietnam Wall as its cornerstone. Across its 360-foot length, the wall contains all the names etched in the original wall in Washington, D.C. This project pays respect to the men and women who served their country and pays specific tribute to those who gave all in that service: veterans, active military personnel, law enforcement, firefighters, first responders and those lost protecting us from terrorist attacks.
The AVTT will be located on Hicks Baseball Field at the south end of campus. The AVTT is entirely outdoors and guests should dress accordingly. A handicapped accessible walkway will be built along the 360-foot wall.
A variety of activities are scheduled throughout each day of the event. Joseph Kernan, former Indiana governor, former mayor of South Bend and ex- POW will be the guest of honor at the opening ceremony which will begin at 7 p.m. July 3.
There will be other guests and musical presentations that evening and each day and evening through the week. Please visit http://www.pnc.edu/avtt/ for a complete schedule and additional information about the AVTT.
All performances, opening and closing ceremonies will take place under a tent near the AVTT, with 200 folding chairs available. Guests are reminded to bring insect repellent.
There will be an information booth located adjacent to the wall. There will also be a computer nearby with volunteer staff to look up names listed on the wall to determine their panel location. Paper and crayons will be available for guests to make rubbings of their friends' and loved ones' names.
A PNC Veteran's Information Tent will have veterans and PNC staff available to answer questions that veterans may have about education opportunities at PNC and will be directed to appropriate local resources for information about benefits, careers, college and other programs available to veterans.
Golf carts, driven by volunteers, will be available in the parking lots to transport guests to the wall.
On July 5, Pines Village of Valparaiso is providing free round-trip, air conditioned Coach Bus transportation for veterans age 60 and older, along with up to six guests. The bus will pick up riders in the Valparaiso High School south parking lot, departing every 90 minutes beginning at 8:30 a.m. Buses will return from PNC every 90 minutes with the last bus departing PNC at 7:30 p.m. Pines Village volunteers will assist and will be identified by their red shirts with the white Pines Village logo. Pines Village will provide hydration for the bus riders.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Pines Village Transportation Department at (219) 465-9902.
Concession stand food and refreshments will be available for purchase.
IU Health La Porte will provide a trailer that will serve as a cooling center and have personnel available to provide minor medical aid.
The Red Cross will be present. There will be a Bloodmobile available on Thursday, July 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to collect blood donations. Donors should bring a valid ID.
LaPorte County Emergency Management will be present.
Commemorative items will be available from an AVTT trailer. Sales help to support the AVTT.
A steel I-beam that was salvaged from the World Trade Center that has been donated to PNC, will also be on hand for viewing.
The AVTT will be accompanied by other memorials and exhibits including:
• The 40-foot by 60-foot The National POW/MIA Flag will be hoisted atop a crane being provided by Tonn and Blank Construction Co. and will be adjacent to U.S. 421. The POW/MIA flag is an American flag designed as a symbol of citizen concern about United States military personnel taken as prisoners of war (POWs) or listed as missing in action (MIA).
• The Gold Dog Tag Display of all members of the armed forces who have given their lives in the Global War on Terror; each tag has full name, rank, branch of service, date and location of casualty. This one-of-a-kind tribute honors those who have fallen and to which there is not currently a memorial for their honor and remembrance.
• A 9/11 tribute with the names of all 2,984 casualties organized by where they were at the time of death
• A series of frames depicting the actual statistics from every war and conflict in which the United States has been involved
• A series of World War II panels which portray the entire timeline of events and numerous graphics and photos
• A Korean War tribute consisting of eight panels with the entire timeline and battle maps and photos
• A series of Vietnam facts and figures, the timeline of events and an art display from a Vietnam Vet artist
• A display of USA founding and significant historical documents: the Constitution, Declaration of Independence and other relevant documents
• Panels for honoring Law Enforcement and Firefighters with pictorial display
• A panel memorializing the casualties at the 2009 Fort Hood shooting
• Panels displaying the pictures of each of our commanders in chief throughout history
• Displays honoring all who fell in military hostile action between the end of Vietnam and the 9/11 attack; each conflict is represented with facts and each casualty is recorded.
Financial donations are needed to help offset the cost of bringing the AVTT to Purdue North Central. All donors will be acknowledged on the website and in programs distributed to each visitor.
Donations may be given in memory of or in honor of a veteran, fire fighter, law enforcement or other emergency personnel, all of whom are represented in one of the exhibits.
Any money raised beyond what is needed will be donated to veterans' causes.
Volunteers are also needed to fill a number of slots.
Please visit http://www.pnc.edu/avtt/ for a complete list of donor or volunteer opportunities available and volunteer sign up. The website also has flyers that can be printed for distribution.
Also on the web site is a quiz, with answers, that visitors may print out for use during their visit. This is an appropriate activity for adults to enjoy with children viewing the AVTT.
Anyone interested in making a financial contribution, may send a check payable to Purdue Foundation (with AVTT written on the memo line) to Purdue University North Central, Office of Advancement, 1401 S. U.S. 421, Westville, Ind. 46391.
To learn about financial or in-kind donation opportunities contact Melissa Westphal-Benefiel, PNC interim director of Advancement, at 785-5200, ext. 5274 or email@example.com .
To learn more about volunteer opportunities contact Liz Bernel, PNC coordinator of Special Events and Marketing, at 785-5200, ext. 5719 or firstname.lastname@example.org .