WASHINGTON CITY – They call it “The Wall That Heals,” a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial that stands in our nation’s capital paying tribute to the thousands of men and women who gave their lives in the Vietnam War; Thursday through Sunday it will be on display at Zion Harley Davidson, 2345 N. Coral Canyon Blvd. in Washington.
Wednesday, the Patriot Guard Riders, met the traveling exhibition – that has been all over the country and the world – in Page, Arizona, and escorted the semitrailer carrying the hallowed wall to its home for the next four days.
Veterans, their families and the greater community are encouraged to come pay tribute to the fallen and hopefully find peace and healing in the “comfort of a familiar surrounding,” a press release statement said.
The wall made its final approach in revered style, escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders and law enforcement officers from Washington County, Hurricane and Washington cities.
“This is a special event for veterans, especially Vietnam vets,” Patriot Guard member JR Lemkuhl said. “It is a chance to look back, become emotional and leave feeling better, as if you visited your mother’s grave site, talked to her for a while. When one does that, they leave feeling better.”
For many veterans it is difficult to face the wall where so many of their fallen comrades’ names are written and their own are not, Vietnam veteran and president of the Southern Utah Chapter 961 Dan Greathouse said.
“We have no answers,” Greathouse said, “and this is why we come to see the wall.”
The replica was designed and created to provide a way for the community beyond the District of Columbia to be able to see it without having to travel that far, Greathouse said; and, according to the press release, to offer veterans a way to find the strength and courage to “do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.”
“For me, being stationed in Washington, D.C. for three years, I visited the wall a few times,” Lemkuhl said. “There is a very powerful feeling that overcame me. I felt small. Quiet. I witnessed pain. I saw pictures and trinkets left for loved ones. For me, it is that same grave site times 10.”
There are over 58,000 names engraved on the wall, Greathouse said, and each time a person missing in action is found, they are added to the wall.
Over 1,600 American soldiers are still unaccounted for, Ron Lewis, a Vietnam veteran from New Harmony, said. Lewis has dedicated his life to making sure that no American that lost their life and was never recovered is forgotten.
“The Wall That Heals” will be on display from Thursday through Sunday and will be open 24 hours a day for those who want to face the wall alone. Security will be on hand during the late night and early morning hours and the lights in the parking lot will be turned on.
In addition to the wall, counseling services from the St. George Vet Center will be provided, and a tent dedicated to prisoners of war and those missing in action will be set up.
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- What: The Wall That Heals scale replica of the Vietnam War memorial
- When: Thursday-Sunday, March 12-15, 24 hours a day
- Where: Zion Harley Davidson, 2345 N. Coral Canyon Blvd., Washington City
- Cost: Free
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