FORT WORTH, Texas-- (Jan. 20, 2017) A weeklong celebration of the western lifestyle and America’s heroes heads to Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas, Feb. 14-19, culminating with RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN presented by Polaris RANGER® on Feb. 19 at AT&T Stadium.
Patriotism and rodeo have an affinity that has lasted more than a century. RFD-TV honors the country’s military and first-responder heroes with special opening ceremonies at both the semi-finals in Fort Worth and THE AMERICAN in Arlington.
The week begins when The Wall That Heals, the half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that lists the names of more than 58,000 Americans who gave their lives in service to their country, arrives. The traveling exhibit is part of THE AMERICAN Semi-Finals FanZone that accompanies the rodeo competition in historic Cowtown Coliseum.
“Everybody can’t get to Washington, D.C.,” said Steve Kenyon, a co-host of Western Sports Roundup on RFD-TV and RURAL Radio. “We are bringing a genuinely moving tribute to those who died in Vietnam to Fort Worth as part of the total package of the rodeo, the memorial and the history of the Fort Worth Stockyards. I’ve seen The Wall That Heals. I’ve had a chance to watch people walk up and find a name of a loved one, a friend or someone they served with. It’s a touching, powerful tribute to heroes who were underappreciated in their time.”
A processional featuring mounted sheriff’s posses, motorcycle riders, The Wall That Heals and its mobile traveling museum is scheduled to arrive in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards at the intersection of Main Street and Exchange Avenue at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 14.
Local volunteers and rodeo athletes for both THE AMERICAN and THE AMERICAN Semi-Finals will help set up the wall that afternoon. The wall will be open to the public at no charge from then until Saturday, Feb. 18.
The Wall That Heals is a learning experience for young and old alike. The mobile Education Center which accompanies the wall, tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era surrounding the conflict. It is designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context. Both the wall and the education center offer a great opportunity for students and adults to learn more about this era in American history.
“We are encouraging everyone to come out to the FanZone and see The Wall that Heals and the Education Center, especially the local school systems.” said Billy Frey RFD-TV’s Chief Marketing Officer. “What better way to honor those that gave the ultimate sacrifice than a history lesson followed by a field trip? For many people this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this exhibit.”
Honoring the military continues with 5,000 active duty military members based in Texas and Oklahoma receiving free tickets for THE AMERICAN. The free tickets are available for those stationed at Fort Hood, Tinker Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base and the Air National Guard in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
THE AMERICAN is also inviting all veterans to take advantage of a special discount ticket offer. Veterans receive a 25% discount when they use the promo code USMIL17 through Ticketmaster or AmericanRodeo.com. Valid military or veteran identification is required.
On Sunday, the mobile education center of The Wall That Heals will be at AT&T Stadium for rodeo fans, especially those who could not visit the wall in Fort Worth, to experience.
For more information on The Wall That Heals, visit: http://www.vvmf.org/twth
To schedule an interview or photos, contact Johna Cravens, 580.235-2664 or Susan Kanode 817.307.6336. Photos available on request.
About RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN Presented by Polaris RANGER:
Taking place at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium on Feb. 19, 2017, RFD-TV’s THE AMERICAN is the richest single-day event in the history of rodeo. With $2 million on the line, the best athletes in the world will gather in Dallas to battle for the biggest single paycheck of their lives. The American invites the top athletes from the 2016 PRCA, ERA, WPRA and PBR world standings and pits them against underdogs who advance from THE AMERICAN Semi-Finals, held Feb. 14-17 in Fort Worth. If a nationally ranked athlete wins, the prize is $100,000, but if a qualifier from the Semi-Finals – or an athlete who earned an exemption – wins THE AMERICAN, that contestant shares in a $1 million bonus pool. For more information, please visit: www.americanrodeo.com and www.RFDTV.com. Follow us on Twitter @RFDTVAMERICAN and find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RFDTVTheAMERICAN.