The Wall That Heals
The Wall That Heals — a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with a mobile Education Center — is coming to Manitowoc in 2019. The Wall That Heals can be viewed at the Manitowoc County Expo Grounds Sept 12 through Sept 15 and will be open 24 hours a day and is free to the public. Terry (TJ) Johnson, a Vietnam veteran and president of the Vietnam Veterans of America-Chapter 731, Manitowoc Co., spearheaded the effort to bring TWTH to Manitowoc. “The Wall was here in 1999, so our members thought it would be a nice tribute to bring it again on the 20th Anniversary!” “TWTH was in Crivitz last year and many of us went to pay our respects. We decided that we’d like to share this moving memorial with other veterans and families of our area, especially to honor the 35 brave men from our county that we lost in the Vietnam War.” Chapter 731 is asking for donations to help offset costs associated with bringing TWTH to town. In addition to the cost, he said approximately 50 able-bodied volunteers are needed throughout the event, starting with set-up, helping with daily staffing, overnight volunteers and take down. 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 our nation’s capital, with nearly 5.3 million visitors each year. However, many Americans have not been able to visit what has become known to many as “The Wall.” VVMF, the nonprofit organization that built The Wall in 1982, wants to give all veterans and their family members across America an opportunity to see the Memorial. “We received more than 100 applications to host The Wall That Heals in 2019 and we were excited to announce the cities that we’ve selected as hosts for the year,” said Jim Knotts, president/CEO of VVMF. “The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit provides thousands of veterans and their family members the chance to visit The Wall and honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed. Hosting the exhibit gives veterans an opportunity for healing and provides an educational experience for the whole community on the impact of the Vietnam War on America.” The three-quarter scale Wall replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. With the replica at this size, visitors are able to experience The Wall rising above them as they walk toward the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in Washington D.C. Like the original Memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a chevron-shape and visitors can do name rubbings of individual service member’s names on The Wall. The names are listed in order of date of casualty and alphabetically on each day. The Wall That Heals is transported from community to community in a 53-foot trailer. When parked, the trailer opens with exhibits built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile Education Center telling the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history. All area schools are encouraged to schedule a field trip during the available daily slots for the 1-hour tour of the site and the educational exhibits, guided by TWTH professionals. For more information about tours, please contact Education Chair, Tom Hoffmann at 920-682-5073. Anyone interested in making a donation may do so by sending a check to VVA-731, PO Box 2131, Manitowoc, WI 54221-2131. For more information please contact: Harold Olson, Chapter Treasurer, 920-901-9988 or find additional information or a Sponsorship Form at: The Vietnam Veterans of America-Chapter 731, Manitowoc Co. has been organized since 1995, has nearly 200 members and is very active in the community. Veterans who served on active duty in the Republic of Vietnam between 2/28/1961 and 5/7/1975, or in any duty location between 8/5/1964 and 5/7/1975 are eligible to join. Meetings are held monthly at 6:30pm on the 1st Thursday of the Month at AmVets Post 99, 4310 Conroe St., Manitowoc Rapids or call membership chair, John Salzman at 920-629-1124 for more information.