Volunteers sought for Reading of the Names ceremony

NEWPORT - The third annual Newport Veterans Stand Down will be held Saturday July 17, with opening ceremonies at 8 a.m., at Newport High School.

"Newport High School has again welcomed us and made this event possible," event organizer Brad Hanson said.

There will also be a Reading of the Names ceremony as part of the effort to honor all that gave their lives during the Vietnam conflict and organizers are seeking volunteers to read the names.

"This ceremony requires support and commitment from the local community, there are 58,318 names on the wall and it takes between 55 and 65 hours to accomplish," Hanson said. "We are asking for community members to volunteer a half hour of their time to take part in this ceremony. We have divided the time the wall will be on display into 30-minute increments."

These blocks of time can be committed to by an individual, a couple or a group, he said, and those who agree to be part of this ceremony will be expected to read in a clear voice the names of those lost for that block of time. People can sign up online at www.forms.gle/9X1SoZwYicauCYhW6.

People can also sign up at the Hospitality House 216 South Washington in Newport The names will be read from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day except for the first day, when the reading will start at 10:30 a.m. to accommodate the opening ceremony.

"We hope all of you will take part in or visit this display while it is here as it has taken tremendous effort by our volunteers and outstanding generosity from our local businesses and organizations to make this happen," Hanson said.

Hanson says people who are aware of any veteran in need or struggling should encourage them to attend the Stand Down this year, as there will be camaraderie, surplus distribution, and other services available. South Pend Oreille fire and Rescue will be providing a free lunch.

The Vietnam Memorial Wall and Fallen Heroes Banner Project will take place July 15 through July 19 at the Newport Cemetery.

Newport Veterans Stand Down will be held 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 17 at Newport High School.