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Vietnam Veterans Memorial travels Wednesday morning to Lockport

The traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial heads Wednesday morning to Lockport Town Hall, accompanied by a motorcycle escort of local bikers and veterans.

A truck carrying the panels of the memorial wall leaves The Chapel at CrossPoint in Amherst at about 10:30 a.m. for the trip to the front lawn of Lockport Town Hall, 6560 Dysinger Road, where the almost 300-foot-long memorial will be assembled.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday. Afterward, the memorial will be open round-the-clock through Sunday, with several ceremonial events scheduled for this weekend.

The V-shaped wall is a three-fifths scale model of the official memorial in Washington, D.C. It’s inscribed with the names of 58,272 American service personnel killed in the Vietnam War, including 79 from Niagara County.

The keynote speaker for Thursday’s ceremony will be former Niagara County Sheriff Thomas A. Beilein, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam in 1966.

Shuttle buses will be available Thursday through Sunday to take visitors from the parking lot of Big Lots Plaza on South Transit Road to Town Hall. Buses will run every 15 minutes from 3 to 9 p.m. Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.