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Vietnam War Memorial replica headed for Phoenix

A replica of the Vietnam War Memorial will be displayed in Phoenix Memorial Park from Sept. 18 until Sept. 20.

The replica is owned by Dignity Memorial, a network of funeral, cremation and cemetery services that transports the three-quarter scale wall across the country each year. The wall was built in 1990 and has been touring different sites ever since, each one sponsored by the local Dignity Memorial provider.

The 240-foot-long and 8-foot-high replica will arrive in the Valley Sept. 15, but won’t be available for viewing until Sept. 18.

The wall includes inscriptions of the names of the 58,000 people who died or went missing during the Vietnam War.

Opening ceremonies of the replica will be held at 9 a.m. Sept. 18, with presentations by the Army and Navy and a flyover by Luke Air Force Base. A prisoner-of-war and missing-in-action ceremony will be held at sunset.

Activities for the remainder of the weekend will include a silent auction and a POW/MIA candlelight vigil on Sept. 19 and the burial of a memorial vault Sept. 20 during the closing ceremonies.

All of the flowers, notes and mementos collected over the three days will be placed in a memorial vault, which will be buried in a plot donated by a Phoenix woman, Jo Ella Lysons, said Jennifer Brandino, a spokeswoman for Dignity Memorial. Lysons and her late husband both served in the military during World War II.

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