The Wall That Heals March 31 – April 3

GARNER – The Wall That Heals is coming to Garner’s Lake Benson Park on March 31 through April 3.  The community will honor those men and women who are remembered on The Wall, will respect the men and women who survived their service in Vietnam, and will educate hundreds of people about the Vietnam War.

Overview

The Wall That Heals is a traveling ¾-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Wall That Heals is 375 feet long and 7.5 feet tall at its highest point. The names of the more than 58,000 American service members who died in Vietnam are engraved on The Wall’s 140 panels.

The Wall That Heals was created and is maintained by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  Like The Wall in Washington, visitors can do name rubbings of individual service member’s names on The Wall.

The Wall will be erected on Wednesday, March 30 and will be officially open on Thursday morning, March 31. The Wall will remain open 24 hours a day until Sunday, April 3 at 2 p.m. Ambassadors will be available around the clock to assist visitors. There is no admission fee. Tours can be arranged for groups of 10 or more.

A Mobile Education Center, which is a traveling museum, accompanies The Wall. Guided tours will be led by trained educators.

The Mobile Education Center

The 53-foot trailer that transports The Wall That Heals transforms to become the mobile Education Center. The exterior of the trailer features a timeline of “The War and The Wall” and provides additional information about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Additional exhibits give visitors a better understanding of the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Displays will include information about the eight community men who perished in Vietnam; an In Memory Honor Roll of area men and women who survived the war and later died of Vietnam-related causes; and a display of items representative of those left at The Wall in Washington, D.C.

Educators will provide guided tours to groups that make reservations. The tours consist of 20 minutes at The Wall and 20 minutes at the Mobile Education Center. An additional 20 minutes can be spent at Our Community in Vietnam, a locally produced exhibit about area Vietnam veterans. We have interviewed almost 80 local Vietnam veterans and have a story and picture of each one.

Reservations can be made for groups of 10 or more. Contact Mary Lee at 919-210-8783 or mslee@nc.rr.com.

What makes this visit special

Documentary

A documentary has been produced about The Wall That Heals’ visit to North Carolina. The 30-minute show features the stories of men and women from North Carolina who went to Vietnam

The show also features Medal of Honor recipient Joe Marm, who discusses what the Vietnam Veterans Memorial means to him, and the U.S. Marine 2D Aircraft Wing Band. The show is scheduled to be previewed at  Aversboro Road Baptist Church on March 20 (3 p.m.), and at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville on March 26 at 2 p.m. The 82nd Airborne All-American chorus will be the special guest at Aversboro Road.

The documentary will be broadcast on March 26 at 1 p.m., on Fox 50 and March 27 at 12:30 on WRAL,

The Escort

The Wall That Heals will make a grand entrance at Lake Benson Park on national Vietnam Veteran Day, March 29. An escort of about 200 motorcycles is expected to accompany The Wall through downtown Clayton beginning at noon and on  to the park. The riders will participate in a brief ceremony at Lake Benson Park.

Candlelight service

Hundreds of candles will light The Wall at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, April 1. Eight wreaths will be placed at The Wall in honor of the eight community men who died in Vietnam and one other wreath will be placed in honor of veterans who survived the war and have since passed on. There will be special music and a time of reflection. Dr. James Johnson, a Vietnam chaplain, is the guest speaker.

Welcome Home celebration

The Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home _ A Walk to the Wall will begin at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church near the park and proceed to The Wall on Saturday April 2 at 2 p.m. The 2D Marine Aircraft Wing Band and parade Grand Marshall Joe Marm, a Medal of Honor recipient, are expected to lead the march. U.S. Marine Col. Samuel Lee Meyer, a Garner native, will be the keynote speaker after a brief concert by the band at The Wall. Our Vietnam veterans will have the opportunity to place items at The Wall near the conclusion of the event. We would like to have every Vietnam veteran in the area participant as our community welcomes them home. Transportation will be provided for the veterans.

Our Community in Vietnam

Our website, garnerwall.com, has stories about more than 80 area Vietnam veterans and more than 50 veterans from Wake County, Johnston County and Harnett County who died while serving in Vietnam. The stories of these service members will be shown continuously in the Our Community in Vietnam tent while The Wall is here.

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