A five-day event that honored and remembered veterans from the Vietnam War came to a close Sunday afternoon.
A motorcycle escort formed in Findlay and arrived in Tiffin Wednesday afternoon. American Veterans Traveling Tribute and Traveling Wall were open to the public at Carmie's Grill & Bar and Camden Falls, 2460 S. SR 231, Tiffin, through Sunday afternoon.
Adam Smith, a board member for Seneca County for Vets, said the No. 1 goal of the non-profit organization was to bring home veterans who had served in Vietnam. The wall contains names of 30 Seneca County residents who died in the war, and he said he felt the group had achieved its goal of bringing them home.
PHOTO BY MIKE MASELLA
Russell C. Shields plays taps during the closing ceremony of the weekend’s American Veterans Traveling Tribute and Traveling Wall exhibition at Camden Falls and Carmie’s Bar & Grill Sunday afternoon.
Smith estimated up to 50,000 people visited the site Thursday through Sunday.
"We had no idea what to expect," he said.
Smith said officials were satisfied and were happy with the turnout. A guest registry featured names of people from North Carolina, Columbus, Toledo, Findlay and nearby towns. It seemed like the word got out, he said.
He said officials received many compliments about how the programs went, and people were happy to have the display in Tiffin. He said he heard it gave a lot of veterans peace.
Smith said a gun salute and the playing of taps were highlights of the event for him. Among the events was a presentation by Rolling Thunder Chapter 5 Ohio Friday evening.
"That program was unbelievable, absolutely amazing," Smith said.
The group's program ended with Vietnam veterans being invited to stand in front of the wall and people being encouraged to thank them.
"That was pretty special," he said.
Smith said Seneca County for Vets will continue as an organization. It still is selling pins, T-shirts printed by Viewpoint Graphics Inc. and kickstand plates made by Webster Industries Inc. at Camden Falls and Carmie's, and proceeds are to continue to go to the organization.
Veterans need help, and the group is going to continue to provide aid, he said.
Contributions can be mailed to Seneca County for Veterans, P.O. Box 221, Tiffin, OH 44883, according to the group's website.
Seneca County for Vets