SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The small town of Parkston is hosting a big event in the days leading up to independence day. The Celebration of Freedom features a 360-foot traveling Vietnam veterans memorial wall and dozens of events including a parade and concerts.

It started at a staging area on the outskirts of Dimock, a mass of motorcycles and cars gathered to travel the 7 miles to Parkston. The convoy made its way down Highway 37 and eventually onto Main Street in Parkston.
Medal Of Honor Recipient Michael Fitzmaurice led the parade of convertibles. Corvettes carried other veterans much to the delight of the crowd gathered to welcome the caravan to town.

“They don’t get enough recognition for what they did, this is something I can do to maybe make a vet feel better,” said veteran Ron Hansen of Sioux Falls who brought his Corvette to the parade.

Organizer Rob Monson says this is the kick-off to several days of events. He felt it was important to do this.

“Well as you can see from the hat I’m a Desert Storm guy and these guys did not get the welcome home that we did and as a country, I think we learned from the Vietnam guys that we can do better and so be it was just something we could do to get them standing a little taller, walking a little faster and just honor them for what they did,” said Monson.

A lot of the activity over the next several days will take place here at the city park where the new amphitheater has been getting a lot of use with groups like Mogan’s Heroes. The wall was set up Thursday morning in the city park. It will feature Vietnam veterans, but there will also be 68 additional panels dedicated to other wars and conflicts. The wall will be on display until mid-afternoon on the Fourth of July.

A lot of events honoring veterans will be held in the city park over the next five days. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.