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The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with a mobile education center, will be stationed at Tarboro’s Indian Lake Park from Oct. 17-20 and will be open 24 hours a day and free to the public.
The Wall That Heals honors the more than 3 million Americans who served in the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War and it bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in the nation’s capital, with more than 5.3 million visitors each year. However, many Americans have not been able to visit what has become known to many as “The Wall.” The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the organization that built The Wall in 1982, wants to give all veterans and their family members across America an opportunity to see the memorial.
“VVMF is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit to Tarboro to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to visit The Wall and honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of the memorial fund. “We hope it provides an opportunity for healing and an educational experience for the whole community on the impact of the Vietnam War on America.”
Nearly 400,000 people visited an all-new The Wall That Heals exhibit in 2018. Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in more than 500 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005. Hosting The Wall That Heals provides a community with a multi-day experience that includes an educational experience for local schools and organizations on the history of the Vietnam era and The Wall.
The memorial fund coordinates local stops of The Wall That Heals and the accompanying mobile education center. The current schedule and more information can be found at: www.thewallthatheals.org. The 2019 national The Wall That Heals tour is hauled through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association and the trucking industry and is sponsored by USAA. Local sponsors include the Edgecombe County Veterans Military Museum.
ABOUT THE TRAVELING WALL
The three-quarter scale wall replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. With the replica at this size, visitors are able to experience The Wall rising above them as they walk toward the apex, a key feature of the design of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Like the original memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a chevron-shape and visitors are able to do name rubbings of individual service members’ names. The names are listed in order of date of casualty and alphabetically on each day. Beginning at the center/apex, the names start on the East Wall (right-hand side) working their way out to the end of that wing, picking up again at the far end of the West Wall (left-hand side) and working their way back in to the center/apex. The first and last casualties are side by side at the apex of the memorial.
The replica is constructed of Avonite, a synthetic granite, and its 144 individual panels are supported by an aluminum frame. Modern LED lighting from the top of The Wall provides readability at night.
The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, is shown illuminated at night in this Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund image. Contributed photo