The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Experience 

'To Honor and Remember'

Some of the 71st SOS attendees at the Saturday, July 20 opening ceremonies included (L to R): Jim Pyle, Boris Chaleff, Dick Morgan, Dick Rudkin, and John Lewis

(L to R) Former 434th Troop Carrier Wing Commander Maj/Gen John W. Hoff; 71st SOS Commander Lt.Col. Jim Pyle; Navigator Lt.Col. Boris Chaleff; Pilot Major Richard Morgan; former Indiana Governor Edgar D. Whitcomb; CoPilot Captain Richard Rudkin; and Pilot Lt.Col. John Lewis. The Bakalar Air Force Base/Columbus Municipal Airport control tower appears in the background.

During the opening ceremonies on Saturday, July 20, a faint but very distinctive sound could be heard approaching the airport. Event emcee Wes Roy paused as a Bell UH-1 Iroquois, or 'Huey' helicopter arrived and landed near "The Wall." The Huey was provided by the 138th Aviation Bn INARNG from Shelbyville, IN. The Huey's sound evoked very poignant emotions for those in attendance, especially the Vietnam Veterans. A C-130 fly-over during Friday's opening ceremonies was also a very stark reminder of the Vietnam conflict. The C-130s were from the 165th Airlift Squadron, 123rd Airlift Wing of the Kentucky ANG.

Members, families, and friends of The 71st Special Operations Squadron are very greatful to Ronald W. Shadley, Myers Funeral Service, the Columbus area supporters, and the staff of volunteers who made the appearance of the Vietnam Dignity Memorial possible. The graphic above was included in the event program.

'Miss Liberty' and a 'Thank You Vietnam Veterans' banner welcomed visitors to the Atterbury/Bakalar Air Museum.