Texas City Commemorates Independence Day with Veterans Memorial Wall


Veteran Allan Jarvie helps assemble a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Texas City. | Image by Stuart Villanueva/The Daily News

During the Fourth of July celebrations in Texas City, the Galveston County Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America will host a veterans’ tribute wall.

The wall is an 80%-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. It holds the names of the more than 58,000 Americans killed in the Vietnam War.

Panels honoring those who have served in military conflicts and attacks against the United States since World War I will be installed alongside the Vietnam memorial, according to organizers.

“We want to honor everyone who serves. This tribute is no longer about veterans honoring veterans,” said Don Allen, a Vietnam veteran who owns the American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT), to the Galveston County Daily News. “It’s about the community coming together to honor those who have served and sacrificed for our freedom.”

The wall was manufactured in Bullard, Texas, by AVTT. This Texas-based group has taken the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to over 300 events in the past 15 years.

Ernest Mathews, president of the Galveston County Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, said the event is a first for the local community.

“As a Vietnam veteran, I wanted to be able to bring in this tribute for all our local veterans as a way to have closure,” Mathews said. “The wall will honor those killed from World War I all the way to those who died in Afghanistan. I felt like this was the best thing we could do for this community.”

From now until Monday, the American Veterans Traveling Tribute will be on view at the south entrance of Mainland City Centre, 1000 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway.

On Saturday, a ceremony honoring the names immortalized on the wall will occur, and on Sunday, there will be a ceremony honoring first responders. Every day at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., a bugler will play “Taps.”

“We want our veterans and everyone in the community to come and visit the wall,” Mathews said. “We want people to know that we still care.”

People from all over the state are expected to travel to see the Vietnam Veterans of America’s Wall of Honor. The tribute will be dismantled at 3 p.m. Monday, July 4.

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