The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) announced The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and an accompanying Education Center, will be displayed at the University of Southern Indiana on September 10-13, 2020 as part of its 2020 season of exhibitions. The wall is being brought to Evansville by Rolling Thunder Indiana Chapter 6 in conjunction with the University of Southern Indiana.
“We are honored to have The Wall That Heals on campus next fall,” said Joel Matherly, assistant director of the USI Veteran, Military and Family Resource Center. “In the 25-year history of the wall it is the first time it has been hosted on a college campus. We look forward to sharing this incredible experience with our students, faculty, staff and local community.”
USI was selected as one of the 35 sites out of 116 applications to host The Wall That Heals in 2020. The traveling exhibit honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in the Vietnam War and bears the names of the 58,276 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. It will be displayed on the Quad at USI and open to the public 24 hours a day, including during the 19th commemoration of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit replicates The Wall experience in Washington, D.C. and provides veterans and their family members the chance to experience The Wall in their own community,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. “Hosting the exhibit provides the opportunity to honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed and offers an educational experience for visitors on the impact of the Vietnam War on America.”
The Wall That Heals is generously sponsored by USAA and transported thousands of miles across the country each year through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association and the trucking industry.
More than 300,000 people visited The Wall That Heals exhibit in 2019. Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in nearly 600 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005. The Wall That Heals is a program of VVMF, the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1982. The Wall That Heals is the only traveling exhibit officially affiliated with The Wall in Washington, D.C. and includes the largest Wall replica that travels the country. Two VVMF staff members lead volunteers on site, educate visitors and students, and ensure the reflective atmosphere of The Wall. More information can be found at: www.thewallthatheals.org.
About The Wall That Heals
The three-quarter scale Wall replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 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 D.C.
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 on The Wall. 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/apex. The first and last casualties are side by side at the apex of the Memorial.
The replica is constructed of Avonite, a synthetic granite, and its 144 individual panels are supported by an aluminum frame. Modern LED lighting from the top of The Wall provides readability of The Wall at night.
About the mobile Education Center
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 exhibit 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; educational exhibits told through items representative of those left at The Wall in D.C.; a replica of the In Memory plaque; 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 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF continues to lead the way in paying tribute to our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families. VVMF’s mission is to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era through programs, ceremonies and education materials. To learn more about VVMF, visit www.vvmf.org or call 202-393-0090.
Photo Credit: DLG Photography, The Wall That Heals