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Traveling Wall opens to public June 4 at V.F.W.

On Thursday, June 4 at 11 a.m. the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall will open to the public at VFW Post 3289 in New York Mills.

During the four days the traveling wall will be in New York Mills there will be special programs held each day at 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The Wadena Area Concert Band will perform in the band shell on June 4, 7 p.m. All the events are free and open to the public.

"The Wall" will arrive on June 3 with an escort led by the Patriot Guard.

The motorcade will begin in Perham and travel east on Highway 10 until it reaches the New York Mills VFW. Volunteer crews will work through the night to install the 80 percent size replica (370 feet long and 8 ½ feet tall).

Guards will be posted 24 hours a day and there will be many performances, presentations and speeches to honor veterans through the 4-day event. The centerpiece of the exhibit commemorates the 58,253 American Military personnel (eight were women) who were direct casualties of the war, including about 1,300 who are still considered Missing in Action (MIA). In addition, the exhibit includes The Cost of Freedom Memorial, honoring those who gave their lives for our freedom since Vietnam, including present day Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, as well as tributes to WWII veterans.

'Killer' Kowalski to speak in NY Mills

Former professional wrestler Stan "Killer" Kowalski, a Life Member of Fridley VFW. who was elected State Commander of the Department of Minnesota, VFW in 2008, will speak in New York Mills on June 5&6 at 11 a.m.

Kowalski may be the last World War II veteran in the nation to be elected as State Commander.

Kowalski was born in Minneapolis on May 13, 1926. He went to high school at Duluth Central and Minneapolis North High. He graduated from the University of Minnesota and majored in Journalism from 1948-50.

Stan enlisted into the Navy during October, 1943 and served until April, 1946. He served in Submarine Squadron 182 in the South West Pacific.

Stan was a professional wrestler from 1950-76 with 19 major titles and 6,600 matches. He wrestled under the name of "Killer" Kowalski for most of those years.