04/14/13 — How the Wall That Heals started its journey

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How the Wall That Heals started its journey

By From staff reports
Published in News on April 14, 2013 1:50 AM

On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund unveiled a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed to travel to communities throughout the United States.

Since its dedication, The Wall That Heals has visited more than 350 cities and towns throughout the nation.

Bringing The Wall home to communities throughout the country allows the souls enshrined on it to exist once more among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings.

The traveling exhibit, known as The Wall That Heals, also allows the many thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.

The Wall That Heals is made up of three components. Among them are:

The Wall Replica

The Wall That Heals exhibition features a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It 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 panels join together to form a nearly 250-foot wide structure. As on The Wall, the names on The Wall That Heals are listed by day of casualty.

The Traveling Museum

The exterior sides of the trailer that carries The Wall That Heals open to become a mobile museum.

Information cases display photos of service members whose names are found on The Wall, along with letters and memorabilia left at The Wall in D.C. The Museum also includes a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the conflict in Vietnam.

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 Information Center

A 20'x20' white canvas tent is attached to the trailer and serves as an Information Center, where visitors can find names, either in the Directory of Names or by asking one of the volunteers working the computers. A variety of other useful materials are also available to assist visitors in their search.

-- Information courtesy of www.vvmf.org/twth