The Wall That Heals Coming To WQPT
The Wall That Heals, a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to on at WQPT on the campus of Western Illinois University – Quad Cities and will be open 24 hours a day and 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.
“We are honored to have The Wall visit at this time as WQPT gets ready to air Ken Burns’ new documentary ‘The Vietnam War’ in September,” said Mary Pruess WQPT General Manager. Excerpts from the documentary will be available to view.
On July 26 The Wall will be escorted by the Patriot Guard through LeClaire, Iowa cross I-80, following a route that includes Rapids City, Hampton, East Moline and continuing on River Drive until it reaches its destination on the campus of Western Illinois University – Quad Cities.
The Opening Ceremony will begin at 9:00 am with a keynote address by Ray Torres on July 27.
And the closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, July 30 at 4:00 pm with an address by Dr. Art Tate. Both Mr. Torres and Dr. Tate are veterans of the Vietnam War.
“Each day we have activities planned and we will be adding to the Veterans History Project by recording interviews with veterans on the 29th from noon to 3:00 pm. We hope that veterans will share their stories with us,” said Michael Carton, Educational Outreach Director of WQPT.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in our nation’s capital, 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. Local sponsors are UnityPoint Health Trinity .
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.
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.