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VFW Magazine May 2017 : Page 29

INSPIRES PATRIOTISM America’s history from 1775 through present day. 70 feet in length, was completed between July and November 2015. Having a passion for this exhibit, Smith and Patricia provided more than the necessary seed money to get it going. When they started fundrais-ing, they were able to raise $40,000. “With this wall, I feel that I’m finally giving back to those who served our country both past and pres-ent,” Patricia said. “I needed to feel like I was doing my part to give of my time to show how thankful I am. We must never forget what these brave men and women who wear uniforms have given up.” Named “The Spirit of America’s Story,” the wall is 92 inches tall by 70 feet long. In time, the found-ers plan to add an additional 30 feet. Represented on the wall is the nation’s history from 1775 through present day. “One of the objectives in the creation of this proj-ect was to complete a traveling wall that would define us as a country,” said Simon, who has been commissioned by professional athletes, entertain-ers and the Department of Defense. “It captures a timeline that visually represents the insurmount-able challenges this nation has faced.” Smith and Patricia will take it wherever there is a request. “Anywhere America’s sense of patriotism is ignit-ed is where we take it,” Smith said. “We have taken it to five schools and four more have requested it.” Patricia said she wants to get the wall to as many BY JANIE DYHOUSE schools as possible because she doesn’t believe his-tory is being taught as it should be. “I wish I was younger so I could have more time to take this wall around the country,” Patricia said. “Doing this wall is the third most important thing I have done in my life. Being married to my husband was No. 1, raising my children and having grandchil-dren was No. 2.” For more information on “The Spirit of America’s Story” traveling wall, visit www.spiritofamericasstory .com or email americasstory@aol.com . -EMAIL jdyhouse@vfw.org TOP: “The Spirit of America’s Story” traveling wall depicts U.S. history from 1775 through present day. BOTTOM: “The Spirit of America’s Story” color guard presents the colors at the Great Mohican Powwow in Loudonville, Ohio, in 2013. “The Spirit of America’s Story” traveling wall co-founder, Ron Smith, is pictured on the le. He and co-founder Patricia Sexton attended such events in 2013 and 2014 to gauge interest in a traveling wall depicting America’s history from 1775 through present day. MAY 2017 • WWW.VFW.ORG • 29

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