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Traveling Vietnam memorial coming to Butler County

August 10, 2017 Digital Media Exclusive

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The American Veterans Traveling Tribute

Butler has many parades, but not like the one planned for Aug. 23.

It will start in Cranberry Township and finish at VA Butler Healthcare, moving at about 45 mph along its route.

It will include local law enforcement, three helicopters and hundreds of motorcycles.

The Butler County American Legion Riders will escort a pickup truck pulling a 24-foot trailer holding the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The replica is 360 feet long and nearly eight feet high, 80 percent of the size of the real thing. Volunteers from Butler Legion Riders will set up the exhibit the next morning.

Starting from Victory Family Church, 21150 Route 19, Cranberry Township, the parade will travel to a site behind VA Butler Healthcare, where the replica wall will be on display behind the old VA hospital until Aug. 27.

Jim Miller of Chicora, is the escort chairman for the group. He said he can't remember an escort this large before.

“(We're) shooting for 1,000 bikes,” he said.

Any motorcyclist is welcome, but for safety reasons, cars are not allowed to join the procession.

Miller said he wants people lining the streets all along the parade route “to show these guys they are not forgotten.”

Bill McNutt, a Vietnam veteran and chair of the fundraising and finance committee for AVTT, like many others locally, remembers loved ones lost during the war.

“I have three cousins on it who lost their lives over there. There's 43 veterans from Butler County that lost their lives in Vietnam,” McNutt said.

Posters about each of those soldiers will be in a tent at the site.

The exhibit will be open to the public 24 hours a day from noon Aug. 24 to noon Aug. 27.

A full report will appear in the Butler Eagle.

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