Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

News Release: Music and Poetry Tribute at The Wall

02 November 2007

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has invited musicians, singers and poets to take the stage on Nov. 6 to perform their original compositions at the Music and Poetry Tribute to Vietnam Veterans, featuring Keni Thomas and his band Cornbread, announced Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

The Music and Poetry Tribute will take place on the East Knoll of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It will feature performances by 20 poets, musicians and singers whose original compositions honor the 3 million who served in Vietnam and the more than 58,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Country music artist, former Army Ranger and son of a Vietnam Veteran Keni Thomas and his band Cornbread will headline the Music and Poetry Tribute. Thomas fought as a member of the elite Task Force Ranger assault unit in Somalia, recounted in the book and motion picture “Black Hawk Down.” He has toured Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait on the USO’s “Hope and Freedom” tour and will be starting a new USO tour in December.

In addition to headlining concerts nationwide, Thomas has opened for country singers Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Lee Ann Womack, Toby Keith, Wynonna, Tracy Byrd and Lonestar. His song, “Alabama Home,” is the official theme song for the Talladega Speedway’s 2007 racing season. Keni Thomas and Cornbread were featured in the movie, “Sweet Home Alabama” with Reese Witherspoon.

Crossroads Northern Virginia will also be performing at the Music and Poetry Tribute. The group was featured during the ceremony for the 25th Anniversary of the Groundbreaking for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial last March.

“Since its dedication 25 years ago, The Wall has inspired countless individuals to create poems and songs of healing, remembrance and honor,” said Scruggs. “Now, those who have been inspired can perform their personal tributes and inspire others.”

The Music and Poetry Tribute performers include:
Ivy Bigbee - Centreville, Va.
Patrick Broyles - Emporia, Kan.
Judy Campbell - Wilmongton, Del.
Elvis Carden - Palmetto, Ga.
Ed Carey - Ballston Lake, N.Y.
Filiberto Conde - Rancho Viejo, Texas
Maurice Davis - Hoboken, N.J.
Cal Featherly - Minong, Wyo.
Danetta Finney - Chadwick, Mo.
Allen Fowler - Cerrillos, N.M.
Douglas P. Hastings - Heph, Ga.
Dave Hutchinson - Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Bob Jacques - Shrewsbury, N.J.
Ann Judy - Stafford, Va.
Judy Gorman King - White Bluff, Tenn.
Alvey R. Pelletier - Norway, Maine
Tom Tabor - Springfield, Va.
Benny T. Villa, Jr. - Hampstead, N.C.
Susan Wiseman - Riverdale, Ga.
Tom Yarborough - Jupiter, Fla.

The Music and Poetry Tribute to Vietnam Veterans is free and open to the public. Everyone who attends will receive a complimentary 25th anniversary commemorative program.

The Music and Poetry Tribute begins a week of special events commemorating the 25th Anniversary of The Wall. Other activities include the four-day Reading of the Names at The Wall, from Nov. 7-10, and the annual Veterans Day Ceremony at The Wall on Nov. 11. For more information on these events, visit:

The 25th Anniversary of The Wall events have been made possible by the support of the following corporations, groups and individuals: Lockheed Martin, API Energy, Boeing, Capital Hilton, Comfort Systems USA, Disabled American Veterans, FedEx, Gregory C. Jewell, Rick Lieb, The McCormick Tribune Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Morrison, Non Commissioned Officers Association, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Today, through a series of outreach programs, it is dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing, educating about the impact of the Vietnam War and is building the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center, an underground educational facility, near The Wall.
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