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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 15, 2017

Wall That Heals coming to Fairfield in 2018

Wall is smaller replica of Vietnam Veterans Memorial in D.C.
Dec 05, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile education center, is coming to Fairfield on Sept. 13-16, 2018.

It will be at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds and will be open 24 hours a day, 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 bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who died there.

American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 47 secretary Darlene Vorhies said the local auxiliary was thrilled to learn Fairfield received the prestigious honor of hosting the wall. In fact, it will be one of only two cities in Iowa to receive it next year.

The auxiliary applied for hosting the wall in May 2016, sending out letters asking for $7,500 in donations. The group learned 2017 was fully booked, and that it could apply to host it in 2018, though by then the cost would rise to $8,000.

“I applied for a grant from the Greater Jefferson County Foundation while we were raising funds,” Vorhies said. “I asked for $500 or any amount, and when they made their decision, they gave us $2,000!”

The auxiliary now has a safety net that could come in handy if unexpected costs arise. The next task is finding volunteers to stand watch at the memorial.

The following is a press release from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

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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 Fairfield 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 VVMF. “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.”

 

21 years and counting

More than 250,000 people visited The Wall That Heals in 2016. Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in nearly 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 exhibit includes the wall replica and a mobile education center comprising: digital displays of photos of service members whose names are on The Wall; letters and memorabilia representative of items left­ at The Wall in D.C.; a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the Vietnam War.

The exhibits tell the story of the Vietnam War, the wall and the era surrounding the conflict, and are designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context.

VVMF 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 2018 national The Wall That Heals tour is hauled through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association and the trucking industry and sponsored by USAA.

 

About the half-scale replica

The replica wall is approximately 250 feet in length, and like the original memorial is erected in a chevron-shape. The replica is constructed of powder-coated aluminum, supported by an aluminum frame, and is made up of 24 individual panels, each containing six columns of names.

The names on The Wall That Heals replicate the names on the wall in Washington, D.C. As on the wall, the names are listed alphabetically by day of casualty. 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. Thus, the beginning and ending of the conflict are joined at the center, signifying an epoch in American history.

The Wall That Heals is transported from community to community by a trailer with cases built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile education center that tells the story of the Vietnam War, the wall and the divisive era in American history.

 

About VVMF and the education center at the wall

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF is dedicated to honoring and preserving the legacy of service in America and educating all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era through programs, ceremonies and education materials.

Three decades after building the wall, the mission continues as VVMF raises funds to build the education center at the wall. The center will be an interactive learning facility on the National Mall where soldiers’ stories and sacrifices will never be forgotten.

The education center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on the wall and honor what it calls “America’s Legacy of Service,” including those in the military today. Time Warner is the Lead Gift Benefactor in the campaign to build the education center at The Wall.

To learn more about VVMF and the future education center at The Wall, visit www.vvmf.org or call the number 202-393-0090.

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