National Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Exhibit at EKU April 26-29
U.S. Air Force photo by Carson Hampton
The Wall That Heals, a traveling half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will be on display at the EKU Center for the Arts April 26-29 as part of a national tour.
The exhibit, sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, is the only Wall replica that also includes a traveling museum and an information center, where visitors can learn more about those lost during the Vietnam War and how to find their names on The Wall.
“I think it is very fitting that this memorial come to our campus, given Eastern Kentucky University’s long tradition of support of the military and our veterans,” President Whitlock said. “Some of the names on this wall are graduates of this institution. I knew each of them, and really look forward to the opportunity to honor their memories.”
Jan Scruggs, president and founder of VVMF, will speak at an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 26, on the Center’s south lawn. The program will also include a presentation by EKU ROTC’s Pershing Rifle Drill Team, which recently won the national championship.
The traveling museum tells the story of the Vietnam War, the Wall, and the Era, and is contained in nine display windows on the sides of the trailer that transports The Wall. Exhibits feature some of the more than 150,000 items that have been left at The Wall since it was built, as well as items left at The Wall That Heals. Other displays chronicle the history of The Wall and facts about the Vietnam War. A computerized information center allows visitors to find information about the more than 58,000 named on the Memorial.
The VVMF has launched a national movement to get photos of all those named on The Wall – for use in the Education Center at the Wall, an underground learning facility being built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and online at the VVMF’s Virtual Memorial Wall online. Those with a photo of a service member listed on The Wall are welcome to bring it to the traveling exhibit and have it scanned while they wait. Photos can also be submitted online at vvmf.org/photos.
The 250-foot replica will be installed on the south lawn of the EKU Center’s lake level and, along with the mobile museum, will be open to the public 24 hours a day at no charge. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Memorial’s construction in the nation’s capital.Since its dedication in 1996, The Wall That Heals has visited more than 350 locations throughout the United States and made its first-ever international journey in 1999 when it went to Ireland to honor the Irish-born casualties of the Vietnam War. It has also traveled to Canada. The current tour will include more than 20 sites throughout the United States between March and November. Visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB_bnlfM9L8 to see Gov. Steve Brashear discuss the exhibit’s trip to Richmond.
The Center is seeking volunteers to serve as greeters and in other supporting roles during The Wall exhibit. Visit va.eku.edu/wall-volunteers to sign up.
The Wall That Heals brings the experience of Vietnam to students and provides a rare opportunity for them to gain a heightened awareness of the impact and legacy of the Vietnam War. Educators can visit vvmf.org/vvmf-education to view and download educational materials related to this exhibition.
For more information, or to schedule a class trip, call the Center’s Box Office at 622-7469.