The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to Kershaw County early next year. According to County Council Chairman Julian Burns, The Wall That Heals will be at a to-be-determined location in Camden May 3 – 6, and will be free and open to the public 24 hours a day.
“As a Solider and a proud Kershaw native from the period of the Vietnam War,” said Burns in making the announcement, “I join with all our citizens in supporting this memorial — a time of remembrance and gratitude for the families of those who served and for the fallen.”
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 in Vietnam.
“VVMF is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit to Camden to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to visit The Wall That Heals 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.”
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in our 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 (VVMF), 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.
Said Chairman Burns: “I thank especially the American Legion led by Dave Fuller, the VFW, and Marine Corps League, and the City of Camden, and Bethune and Elgin in joining the County, the School District and Camden Military Academy to support this educational, historical, and reverential opportunity for our Veterans,” said Burns. “We who served and those who honor them will be uplifted by this Wall here in May.”
According to American Legion Post 17 spokesperson and local event organizer David Fuller, the site for The Wall That Heals in Camden has not yet to be determined, but the local organizing team is already working with VVMF to bring the event to fruition. “There will be plenty of volunteer and sponsorship opportunities for everyone who wants to become involved in this great and sacred venture.”
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 comprised of: 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 (TCA) and the trucking industry and generously sponsored by USAA.
About the replica
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 (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) 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 our military heroes’ stories and sacrifice 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 America’s Legacy of Service, including those serving in our nation’s Armed Forces 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 202-393-0090.