The traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall officially known as “The Wall That Heals” will be installed on Marco Island at Veterans Community Park from December 7 through 10. This national touring exhibit was created by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and has traveled to more than 300 communities across the United States.
Featuring a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., it is accompanied by a mobile museum which tells the story of the Vietnam War, the Wall, and the era. Touching Americans with its message of honor and healing, it is visited by thousands, many of whom would not otherwise have an opportunity to experience the power of the Wall in Washington, D.C.
The Traveling Wall will arrive by truck at Veterans’ Community Park in Marco Island around noon on Tuesday, December 6. It will be escorted by hundreds of motorcycle riders. Many of them are veterans. Local writers will join the Veterans in support of the event. The truck will be unloaded and the Wall assembled by a crew of trained volunteers. The exhibit will open to the public at 7:00AM on Wednesday, December 7, the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. There will be an opening ceremony that day at 3:00PM. The late starting time is to enable students to attend along with the rest of the community.
During the exhibit, the names of the 1,954 Floridians who were killed in Vietnam will be read aloud. Local residents can request that names of other fallen soldiers also be read. A computerized Information Center that accompanies the Wall allows visitors to search for information about those named on the Memorial. The exhibition will bring the experience of Vietnam to our community and provide a unique educational opportunity for students on the Vietnam era as a vital part of our nation’s history.
More than 100 volunteers will assist visitors in many capacities. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Ray Rosenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible.
An ongoing project of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is to collect photos and information about those heroes who died in the Vietnam conflict. When the Fund completes its planned Education Center adjacent to the Memorial in Washington, DC, all the photos will be displayed. On the anniversary of the person’s death, his/her picture will be projected along with others who died that day. The photos and personal information will also be placed on the virtual wall website, vvmf.org/thewall. To date, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has collected 21,000 photos.
Help the Fund honor all of the 58,272 names on the Wall by bringing any photos you may have of anyone who died in the Vietnam conflict, to the information center at The Wall That Heals while it is on Marco Island December 7 through 10. You will be asked to fill out an information form about that person that will then be uploaded to Washington, DC. If you are unable to visit The Wall during those dates, submit your photos and information online at www.vvmf.org/photos. For further information about this project, consult the website www. vvmf.org
The Wall is funded by the generous financial support of IBERIABANK; The Arlington, a Lutheran Life Community; Dignity Memorial / Hodges – Josberger Funeral Home, Naples Town Hall Distinguished Speakers, and Vitas Innovative Hospice Care. In-kind contributions are provided by Affordable Golf Carts, Coastal Breeze News, Costco, Gem Electric Cars, Gene’s 5th Avenue Florist, Greater Marco Family YMCA, Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa, Lowe’s Home Improvement, McDonalds, Marco Eagle, Marco Movies, Marco Sun Times, Naples Daily News, William G. Morris, Esq., and Walgreens.