Mobile Vietnam veterans memorial to visit Tarboro
Rocky Mount Telegram
Friday, February 8, 2019
The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with a mobile Education Center, is coming on Oct. 17-20 to Indian Lake Park in Tarboro.
The exhibit will be open 24 hours a day and free to the public.
The Wall That Heals honors the more than three 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 during that conflict.
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 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, memorial officials said.
The three-quarter scale Wall replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7½ 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 towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in Washington.
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 member’s 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 or apex. The first and last casualties are side by side at the apex of the Memorial.
The Wall That Heals is transported from community to community in a 53-foot trailer. When parked, the trailer opens with exhibits built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile Education Center telling the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history.
The mobile Education Center displays includes digital photo displays of “Hometown Heroes” — service members whose names are on The Wall that list their home of record within the area of a visit; digital photo displays of Vietnam veterans from the local area honored through VVMF’s In Memory program which honors veterans who returned home from Vietnam and later died as a result of their service; video displays that teach about the history and impact of The Wall and of the collection of items representative of those left at The Wall in D.C.; educational exhibits told through items in the collection; 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.
The 2019 national The Wall That Heals tour takes place through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association and the trucking industry and generously sponsored by USAA. Local sponsors are the Edgecombe County Veterans’ Military Museum.