The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to Marco Island on February 19, 2020. The exhibit will be on display in the Veterans Community Park and will be open 24 hours a day and free to the public. The American Legion Post 404 is leading the effort that will bring the exhibit to Marco Island. The Wall That Heals honors more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War, and it bears the names of the 58,276 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
“The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit to Marco Island to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to experience The Wall and honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. “Hosting The Wall That Heals provides an opportunity for healing and an educational experience for visitors on the impact of the Vietnam War on America.”
Commander Lee Rubenstein of the American Legion Post 404 had this to say. “American Legion Post #404 is honored to bring The Wall That Heals to Marco Island for its third visit. We have the privilege of being the very first city visited by The Wall in the 2020 national tour, plus we are the only city in Florida to have The Wall That Heals this year. Everyone will want to experience the new Wall which is 40% larger than the Wall it replaces. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many veterans to share the special bond that exists between those who served and sacrificed.”
Community support is needed to bring The Wall That Heals to Marco Island. More than 200 volunteers will be needed to set up and take down the replica Wall, staff the exhibit and guide visitors 24 hours a day. 50 additional volunteers are needed as “readers” who will publicly read 1,954 names of the Floridians who died serving their country in Vietnam. Volunteers can contact Ray Rosenberg, the Volunteer Coordinator at 239-877-4206.
Local sponsors that have already stepped forward to support the event are Iberiabank, Hideaway Beach Club Members, Island Country Club Foundation, Knights of Columbus, plus numerous other organizations and individuals.
School and youth groups are encouraged to visit The Wall That Heals. Trained staff from VVMF will be on site to provide free educational tours of the exhibits. Tours can be customized based on ages so visitors can learn about the history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, hear stories of those who served in Vietnam and learn about the impact of the Vietnam War on America. To schedule a tour, please call Doug Hartman at 703-582-1855 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.