Hendersonville Memory Gardens honors veterans with moving wall memorial

Hendersonville Memory Gardens, Funeral Home & Cremation Center, a family-owned and locally operated business serving families in middle Tennessee, is bringing The Moving Wall to 353 E Main St, Hendersonville from Nov 3-5. The Moving Wall is a large scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Hendersonville Funeral Home is hosting a special Welcome Home Ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4. Hosted by Bill Cody, a nationally and internationally known radio personality, this patriotic tribute features guest speakers William “Bill” Robinson, who for seven-and-a-half years was a POW of the Vietnam War, and Barry Rice, president of the Tennessee State Council. Cathy Mullins will perform the National Anthem and the Station Camp High School JROTC will post the colors. This meaningful tribute will also feature the Sumner County Community Band and more.

Bill Cody is in his 23rd year as morning show host of WSM’s “Coffee, County & Cody” and is a Grand Ole Opry announcer and host, as well as being a 2008 inductee into the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame.

Airman First Class William Robinson enlisted in the United States Airforce in 1963, and in 1965 was shot down by enemy fire during a rescue mission to save a downed F-105 pilot. He and his crew survived the crash, but were captured and held as prisoners. A1C Robinson served as a Prisoner of War for seven and a half years, making him the longest held enlisted POW in Vietnam. The first enlisted man to receive the Air Force Cross, he was also awarded a Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, POW Medal, two Purple Hearts, and seventeen other medals and decorations. He retired from the Air Force in 1984, after 23 years of service.

Barry Rice is President of the Tennessee State Council, a network of 27 Vietnam Veterans of America chapters. Having served in Vietnam as an Infantry Company Commander with the 1st Cavalry Division in 1968-1969, he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service.

“We are proud to bring the Moving Wall to our community in Middle Tennessee,” said Bill Gregory, owner of Hendersonville Memory Gardens, Funeral Home & Cremation Center and Chief Executive Officer of Nashville-based Family Legacy. “We encourage and welcome everyone in our community to stop over for a visit.”

Rachel Marshall, Funeral Home Manager at Hendersonville Funeral Home, explains why their funeral home has chosen to honor veterans. “We believe that veterans are the true heroes of our nation. Their willingness to give their lives in the service of freedom is awe-inspiring, and something we need to honor. By bringing The Moving Wall to Hendersonville, we’re bringing the community together to remember our fallen heroes, and spend some time reflecting about all that we owe to veterans.”

Hendersonville Funeral Home honors veterans by offering a free burial space for all veterans in their perpetual care cemeteries. Each veteran is also given a personalized wooden flag case for displaying the burial flag, as well as coordinating military honors and assisting the veteran’s family organize a personal life celebration. They also offer aftercare and support services to assist the family in coping with the loss. Hendersonville Funeral Home also provides discounts to all veterans.

Many of the staff from Family Legacy and many local veterans will be volunteering their time to erect the wall, stand guard over the wall 24 hours a day and to disassemble it afterward. Special recognition to the men and women of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 240 of Sumner County and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1128 of Robertson County.

Pinning Ceremonies are planned for each day of the exhibit, and there will be five such ceremonies in total. These commemorative ceremonies are open to all veterans who served between 1963 and 1975. Several local schools have organized field trips so that children can see the wall and get a sense of its importance and history.

This will be a very memorable event for the community of Hendersonville and middle Tennessee.

For more information, visit afamilylegacy.com.

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