Don't Miss This Opportunity To Visit "The Wall That Heals"
Memorial Replica Travels America To Help Heal Wounds of War
by Lesley Misko
By definition, a war is a conflict between opposing forces. But what if there is a secondary conflict, a conflict within one of those two forces, with one side agreeing with the decision to go to war and the other side disagreeing and protesting?
Simply put, that is what happened during the Vietnam war. As a result of this conflict within America, when military members returned from battle following the Vietnam war, they were not greeted with patriotic cheers and ceremonies honoring them as soldiers in past wars had been. Instead, they were treated like something most Americans preferred to forget. They were seen as reminders of defeat and a terrible loss of life – for nothing.
As a result of this national division about the Vietnam war, a memorial to those who sacrificed their lives was slow in coming. It took three and a half years to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and arrange a celebration to honor those soldiers who were still living. In 2020, Vietnam War survivors numbered about 6.3 million. The Memorial was dedicated in November 1982 for a war that ended in the mid-seventies.
Located in Washington, D.C., the Memorial has three parts: a statue of three serviceman with a flagpole, a women’s memorial, and most significantly, a Veterans Memorial Wall. Made of shiny black granite placed in a “V” shape, the Wall has two 200-foot-long sections that contain more than 58,000 names. Names are still being added.
To make the Wall accessible to those who cannot see it in Washington, to continue healing the scars left by the Vietnam War, a three-quarter scale replica of the Wall travels the nation. Made of a synthetic granite and 375 feet long and seven and one-half feet tall at its highest point, the Wall has 140 panels supported by an aluminum frame, and lists the names of the service members who gave their lives.
The veterans’ names are listed in order of the date of their death, and the list begins and ends at the center, where the sections meet. There is a method by which people can search for specific names.
The Wall That Heals is currently stopped nearby, in Upper Providence Township, and will be there until Sunday, October 29 at 2:00 pm. It is located at Anderson Farm Park, 499 Hopwood Road, Collegeville, 19426. Visitors are welcome 24 hours a day and Taps is played every day at sunset.
This is a wonderful opportunity to bring history to life for school students.
[Appreciation to retired Boyertown Area School District English teacher Sharon Fisherowski for making us aware of the Memorial's nearby visit.]
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