Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica Wall and Mobile Education Center spreads healing legacy of The Wall and educates about the impact of the Vietnam War
WASHINGTON, D.C. – KSPS Public Television will host The Wall That Heals, a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, on August 24-27, 2017 at Mirabeau Point Park in Spokane Valley. The exhibit will be open 24 hours a day and is 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 in Vietnam.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in Washington, D.C. with more than 5.6 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 all across America an opportunity to see the Memorial.
“Taking The Wall That Heals on the road gives thousands more veterans and their family members an opportunity to see The Wall and honor those who have served and sacrificed so much,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. “It helps veterans from all of America’s conflicts to find healing and a powerful connection through their common military experiences.”
More than 200,000 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 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 2017 national The Wall That Heals tour is hauled through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and generously sponsored by: USAA, PBS, and GEICO.
Spokane-area sponsors are KSPS Public Television, City of Spokane Valley, Eastern Washington University, MacKay Manufacturing and IRS Environmental. In addition, several veterans groups and
other organizations have committed to partnering with KSPS to provide volunteers and other help, and the list of supporters is still growing. Over 120 volunteers are needed to assemble the exhibit and cover shifts around the clock while The Wall and Education Center are on display.
“KSPS and our partners are honored to help bring The Wall That Heals to the Spokane region,” said Gary Stokes, President and General Manager of KSPS Public Television. “About 25,000 men and women in the Inland Northwest served in the military during the Vietnam era. This is one way we all can honor their service and sacrifice.”
KSPS will air a 10-part historical documentary series produced by acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns, The Vietnam War, in September. ( http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/films/vietnam) Eastern Washington University is developing three public forums on the subject, with the first coming up this spring.
About the half-scale replica
The replica Wall 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 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 53-foot 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
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.
About KSPS Public Television
KSPS Public Television provides on-air, online and multimedia programs that entertain, engage and educate to enrich all the communities it serves. KSPS reaches about two million households in the Inland Northwest and western Canada. In addition to broadcasting the robust schedule of programming from PBS, KSPS produces award-winning specials and series about and for our viewers, including Northwest Profiles, Health Matters and documentaries. Support from members, businesses, foundations, bequests and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting keeps KSPS on the air. www.ksps.org.