Items Left at The Wall

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Bike, Wisconsin Hero

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 15409
  • Accession Date:5/29/1995
  • Item Summary:Wisconsin Hero Bike custom-built Harley-Davidson motorcycle (chopper), also referred to as the "Wisconsin Rolling Memorial". Built in honor of the thirty-seven (37) Wisconsin Vietnam veterans listed by the Department of Defense (DOD) as POW*MIA at the time of production, the motorcycle incorporates the names of each of the "Wisconsin 37" in original paint schemes by U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam veteran Wolfman "Jack" Shaulik. A non-military issue, commemorative service identification tag (or "dog tag") for each of the Wisconsin 37 (VIVE (10660)) is also affixed to the frame of the bike. The chopper was constructed by members of the "Bike For The Wall Committee", a group of Wisconsin Vietnam veterans and motorcycle enthusiasts led by, "Hogman" Bob Thompson, "Polack" & Marlene Pezewski, "Shooter" & Deb Rutkowski, Ron Mungo Oleszak, "Kickstand" & Jen, and "Gator" & Carla "Pig Heart". Construction began on the bike at Willie's R&R Service in Hartford, Wisconsin in June 1994 with donations of cash and parts from supporters throughout the state. The bike was tagged with a license plate reading, "HERO", a plate registered in April 1994 to the people of Wisconsin and summarily retired by the state's governor. According to members of the "Committee", no one will be permitted to sit upon the bike until all American POW*MIAs from the Vietnam War are accounted for and returned home. As a part of, "Rolling Thunder VIII / Run To The Wall '95" the bike left Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Thursday, May 25th and reached the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (VVM) in Washington, D.C. on May 27, 1995 where it remained on public display at the apex of The Wall for three (3) days during the Memorial Day holiday. On May 29, 1995 the bike was delivered to the National Park Service's (NPS) Museum Resource Center (MRCE) and was formally accessioned into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection along with the associated service identification tags (VIVE (10660)), a motorcycle saddlebag (VIVE (10661)), a memorial plaque (VIVE (10662)), and a document binder detailing the production of the chopper (VIVE (10663)). An associated framed color photograph (VIVE (11400)) depicting members of the Bike For The Wall Committee posing with the motorcycle and associated artifacts while on display at The Wall during Memorial Day 1995 was later accessioned into the collection on August 2, 1995.

plaque, memorial

  • Catalog Number:VIVE 10662
  • Accession Date:5/29/1995
  • Item Summary:Wisconsin "Bike For The Wall 1995" memorial plaque. The plaque is comprised of a segment of stained/varnished wood fashioned into a shape resembling the geographic outline of the State of Wisconsin and bears a total of two hundred thirty-three (233) affixed brass plates with engraved inscriptions commemorating the participants and supporters involved in the Wisconsin "Bike For The Wall" project. This project focused on the production of the associated Wisconsin Hero Bike (VIVE (15409)), built in honor of the thirty-seven (37) Wisconsin Vietnam veterans listed by the Department of Defense (DOD) as POW*MIA at the time of production. The motorcycle (along with the plaque) was transported to The Wall by members of the "Bike For The Wall Committee", a group of Wisconsin Vietnam veterans and motorcycle enthusiasts led by, "Hogman" Bob Thompson, "Polack" & Marlene Pezewski, "Shooter" & Deb Rutkowski, Ron Mungo Oleszak, "Kickstand" & Jen, and "Gator" & Carla "Pig Heart". The group displayed the bike and plaque at the apex of The Wall as a part of, "Rolling Thunder VIII / Run To The Wall '95" on Memorial Day weekend, May 27 - 29, 1995. On May 29, 1995 the bike and plaque were delivered to the National Park Service's (NPS) Museum Resource Center (MRCE) and were formally accessioned into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection along with the associated service identification tags (VIVE (10660)), motorcycle saddlebag (VIVE (10661)), and a document binder detailing the production of the motorcycle (VIVE (10663)). An associated framed color photograph (VIVE (11400)) depicting members of the Bike For The Wall Committee posing with the motorcycle and associated artifacts while on display at The Wall during Memorial Day 1995 was later accessioned into the collection on August 2, 1995.

saddlebag, motorcycle


  • Catalog Number:VIVE 10661
  • Accession Date:5/29/1995
  • Associated Name(s) on The Wall: MICHAEL J ALLARD , MERLIN R ALLEN , WILLIAM T ARNOLD , NORMAN K BILLIPP , THOMAS J BLACKMAN , RICHARD L BOWERS , ROBERT I BUSH , PAUL D DERBY , DONALD W DOWNING , WALTER F DRAEGER JR , WILLIAM A EVANS , CHARLES R FELLENZ , EDWIN J FICKLER , RICHARD W FISCHER , PAUL R FRAZIER , DONALD L GALLAGHER , PAUL S GEE , WILLIAM D GORSUCH , JOHN F HARTZHEIM , RICHARD J HENTZ , RAYMOND T HEYNE , ROY A HUSS , RANDOLPH L JOHNSON , JAMES A KETTERER , ROY R KUBLEY , JAMES D LA HAYE , DAVID L LEET , TODD M MELTON , HAROLD J MOE , WILLIAM C PIERSON III , DALE W RICHARDSON , PETER A SCHMIDT , DUWAYNE SOULIER , ALBERT R TRUDEAU , JAMES N TYCZ , JAMES L VANBENDEGOM , ROBERT F WILKE
  • Item Summary:Hard mount, black leather motorcycle saddlebag. The artifact may have been previously affixed [?] to the steel frame of the associated Wisconsin Hero Bike (VIVE (15409)), built in honor of the thirty-seven (37) Wisconsin Vietnam veterans listed by the Department of Defense (DOD) as POW*MIA at the time of production (although the bag is now disjoined from the bike). The motorcycle (along with the saddlebag) was transported to The Wall by members of the "Bike For The Wall Committee", a group of Wisconsin Vietnam veterans and motorcycle enthusiasts led by, "Hogman" Bob Thompson, "Polack" & Marlene Pezewski, "Shooter" & Deb Rutkowski, Ron Mungo Oleszak, "Kickstand" & Jen, and "Gator" & Carla "Pig Heart". The group displayed the bike and saddlebag at the apex of The Wall as a part of, "Rolling Thunder VIII / Run To The Wall '95" on Memorial Day weekend, May 27 - 29, 1995. On May 29, 1995 the bike and saddlebag were delivered to the National Park Service's (NPS) Museum Resource Center (MRCE) and were formally accessioned into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection along with the associated service identification tags (VIVE (10660)), a memorial plaque (VIVE (10662)), and a document binder detailing the production of the motorcycle (VIVE (10663)). An associated framed color photograph (VIVE (11400)) depicting members of the Bike For The Wall Committee posing with the motorcycle and associated artifacts while on display at The Wall during Memorial Day 1995 was later accessioned into the collection on August 2, 1995.
  • Accession Group:VIVE-00141
  • Related Items: VIVE 10660 - assemblage
    VIVE 10662 - plaque, memorial
    VIVE 11400 - print, framed color photographic
    VIVE 15409 - Bike, Wisconsin Hero
  • Record Component Qty:1
  • Item Description:MOTORCYCLE SADDLEBAG. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A HARD MOUNT MOTORCYCLE SADDLEBAG DESIGNED FOR ATTACHMENT NEAR THE REAR WHEEL. THE OBJECT IS COMPRISED OF BLACK LEATHER WITH WHITE THREAD CROSS-HATCH [?] STITCHING PRODUCING A DIAMOND PATTERN AT THE OBVERSE OBJECT SURFACE, AND BACKED TO A RIGID FIBERGLASS SUPPORT FRAME. BLACK LEATHER FRINGE TRIMS THE LOWER EDGE OF THE SADDLEBAG, WHILE THE BAG AND LID ARE CONJOINED VIA A METAL HINGE AND SECURED VIA A LOCKING MECHANISM. THE SADDLEBAG MAY HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY AFFIXED TO THE FRAME OF THE ASSOCIATED WISCONSIN HERO BIKE (VIVE (15409)) [?], WHICH WAS BUILT IN HONOR OF THE THIRTY-SEVEN (37) WISCONSIN VIETNAM VETERANS LISTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) AS POW*MIA AT THE TIME OF PRODUCTION (ALTHOUGH THE BAG IS NOW DISJOINED FROM THE BIKE). THE CHOPPER WAS CONSTRUCTED BY MEMBERS OF THE "BIKE FOR THE WALL COMMITTEE", A GROUP OF WISCONSIN VIETNAM VETERANS AND MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIASTS LED BY, "HOGMAN" BOB THOMPSON, "POLACK" & MARLENE PEZEWSKI, "SHOOTER" & DEB RUTKOWSKI, RON MUNGO OLESZAK, "KICKSTAND" & JEN, AND "GATOR" & CARLA "PIG HEART". CONSTRUCTION BEGAN ON THE BIKE AT WILLIE'S R&R SERVICE IN HARTFORD, WISCONSIN IN JUNE 1994 WITH DONATIONS OF CASH AND PARTS FROM SUPPORTERS THROUGHOUT THE STATE. THE BIKE WAS TAGGED WITH A LICENSE PLATE READING "HERO" [APRIL 1994], A PLATE REGISTERED TO THE PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN AND SUMMARILY RETIRED BY THE STATE'S GOVERNOR. AS A PART OF, "ROLLING THUNDER VIII / RUN TO THE WALL '95" THE BIKE LEFT MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN ON THURSDAY, MAY 25TH AND REACHED THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL (VVM) IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ON MAY 27, 1995 WHERE IT REMAINED ON PUBLIC DISPLAY AT THE APEX OF THE WALL FOR THREE (3) DAYS DURING THE MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY ALONG WITH THE SADDLEBAG. ON MAY 29, 1995 THE BIKE AND SADDLEBAG WERE DELIVERED TO THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE'S (NPS) MUSEUM RESOURCE CENTER (MRCE) AND FORMALLY ACCESSIONED INTO THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL COLLECTION. THE OBJECT IS ASSOCIATED WITH VIVE (10660, 10662, 10663, 11400, & 15409). ACCORDING TO NPS/MRCE COLLECTIONS STAFF, THE ASSOCIATED DOCUMENT BINDER (VIVE (10663)) IS PRESENTLY MISSING AND UNACCOUNTED FOR.
  • Item Dimensions and Weight:
    • Item Weight: 4200.0g
    • Item Length: N/A
    • Item Width: 49.0cm
    • Item Height: 38.5cm
    • Item Depth: 16.7cm
  • Item Notes:THE OBJECT WAS PREVIOUSLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION, "RACK11OBJ3".

    ACCORDING TO NPS/MRCE COLLECTIONS STAFF, THE ASSOCIATED DOCUMENT BINDER (VIVE (10663)) IS PRESENTLY MISSING AND UNACCOUNTED FOR.
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COMMENTS

  • Posted on 5/29/16 - by patti l wright/bloomer
    Makes me proud to own a home in Wisconsin - I tried to see the bike on two of the occasions I was in dc - but not open to the public yet. my dtr just retired after 26 yrs in the usaf and her dad is a broken but loving Vietnam vet and my dad is a proud wwii navy vet. I love the men and women who keep me free
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Items left at The Wall - The Virtual Collection

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982. Shortly thereafter, visitors to the Memorial began leaving items in memoriam to those killed and missing service members listed on The Wall. These artifacts now collectively comprise the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection -- a museum collection of more than 400,000 items held in the public trust by the National Park Service. Today, this Collection is among the largest and most actively researched collections in the National Capital Region.

The Collection is jointly curated by National Mall and Memorial Parks and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). The VVMF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies upon public donations to continue its work, and receives no federal funding.