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Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day concert/dance in Sonora March 26

“From The Delta To The DMZ”, a concert-dance to celebrate Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day (WHVVD) will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 26 at the Sonora Opera Hall.

The concert will feature the Hills Brothers Band, a local group, playing popular music from the Vietnam-era.

Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Chapter 391, the dance will bepart of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) in celebration of WHVVD activities at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds and at the Vietnam Memorial at the Sonora Library planned for March 24-27.

According to concert and art show organizer, Frank Smart, “The dance will be a celebration, but will include an emotional dramatic reading based on the Statler Brothers song of 1988, More Than A Name On A Wall. The dramatic reading was written and directed by Vietnam veteran W.C. “Bill” Chamberlain of Sonora and a member of VVA-391.

There will be light refreshments and a no-host beer and wine bar. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the dramatic reading begins at 6:30 p.m. Music starts at 7 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. “If the audience wants to dance longer, the hat will be passed to pay the band,” said Smart.

The dramatic reading, said Smart, “is about a woman who goes to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., to see her deceased son’s name and to say goodbye. She meets a Vietnam veteran there and they talk about her son and about his experiences. It is very emotional for our generation but the Wall is our way of paying our respects to our brothers and sisters who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Smart noted. The Vietnam Memorial Wall was dedicated in 1988.

The American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT), which includes an 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, is one of the tributes to veterans on display at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds March 24-27. It will be open around the clock and manned by volunteers. It includes other tributes to 9/11, WWII, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

There will also be a Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans Art Show in the Manzanita Building as prt of AVTT. The art show will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 25-27. Admission is free to the AVTT event. At 6 p.m., Friday, March 25, there will be a free preview of 21 and a Wakeup at the theater on Sanguinetti Road. This is the first war motion picture filmed inside Vietnam and is based on true incidents at an Army combat field hospital.

Also as part of the WHVVD celebration, there will be a static POW/MIA display at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Tuolumne County Library all four days during normal Library operating hours.

Tickets for the dance are $25 for one and $40 for a couple. Contact Smart at: fsmart@rocketmail.com or for more information, contact George L. Eldridge, Public Affairs, (209) 984-1378.

Smart advises getting tickets early as there is limited seating.

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