The memorial will arrive Friday morning in the back of a 32-foot trailer, under a motorcycle escort from Gretna to Pinnacle Bank Arena.
But the real ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, during the dedication of the traveling tribute to the thousands of servicemen and women killed in the war on terror.
Bill and Evonne Williams have spent years building the $200,000 Remembering Our Fallen National Memorial — 25 10-foot towers with photos of more than 4,000 service members killed after Sept. 11, 2001.
The basketball court-sized display is making its national debut in Lincoln before hitting the road; among other scheduled visits, it will be set up at the Pentagon and Lincoln Memorial in Washington in September, in New York for Veterans Day and at the Reagan Library in California after that.
In Lincoln, the memorial will be on display outside the arena from Friday morning to midday Sunday, but most of Saturday’s dedication will take place inside the front doors of the air-conditioned arena (with free parking in the attached garage Saturday morning).
Bill Williams is expecting about 200 Gold Star families from five states to begin arriving at 9 a.m. to view the Tribute Towers.
Speeches begin at 10 a.m., by Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, Nebraska's adjutant general; Gold Star mother Noala Fritz of Verdon, whose son Jacob was killed in an ambush in Iraq more than 10 years ago; and Miss Nebraska Allison Tietjen, an advocate for service members and veterans.
After that, Black Jack, a riderless black horse with backward boots in its stirrups, will be led to the front of the arena, where Bohac will present a flag to the Gold Star families, and “Taps” will sound in the West Haymarket.
For more information, go to: rememberingourfallen.org/national-memorial/