The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, also known as The Wall, is a memorial dedicated to those servicemembers that lost their lives during the Vietnam War. It was the brainchild of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, a charity organization started by Vietnam veterans. The VVMF paid for The Wall in its entirety with donations and money raised, no federal money was used in its implementation or construction. Completed in November of 1982, The Wall is a stunning reminder of the casualties of that controversial conflict. Polished black granite stretches almost endlessly, inscribed with the names of those who sacrificed so much in Vietnam. Many people have visited the Vietnam memorial, from family members seeking to touch the name of a loved one, to veterans searching for the names of people they served beside. It is common to see a piece of paper being placed over one of the engraved names so that a rubbing or etching can be taken.
Not everyone is able to make the trip to see the memorial, however, and the VVMF unveiled a project in 1996 aimed at taking The Wall to the doorstep of everyone in America. The Wall That Heals is a 50% scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that travels from city to city across the U.S. Bringing the replica to those who couldn’t make the journey gives a lot of family members and veterans a chance to search for those names and to reflect on the memories of those that were lost. Check out the tour schedule to see when it is coming to a town near you.
Other Traveling Exhibits
America Veteran Traveling Tribute, or AVTT, is another organization offering a traveling wall exhibit. At 80% scale, the AVTT Cost of Freedom Tribute also goes from town to town, helping spread education and remembrance. Along with the replica, the Cost of Freedom Tribute also contains information about both WWII and the Korean War, with maps and timelines, art from Vietnam veterans, and a 9/11 tribute. The AVTT is also another nonprofit charity group that is run by veterans.
The Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall is a 3/5 replica of The Wall in Washington. Their mission is much the same: to bring the memorial to more people. Their appearance schedule can be found here, and you can also find out more information about bringing the wall to your town via their website.
The Moving Wall, a half size replica built by Vietnam Combat Veterans, Ltd., has been touring the U.S. since 1984. From April to November, the wall goes from site to site, bringing the memories of fallen Vietnam heroes across the U.S. To find out when The Moving Wall will be traveling near you, check their schedule. Volunteers are always welcome, as well, so check out how you can help bring it to your town, or how you can volunteer at the memorial once it is in place.
Remembering sacrifices made by our fighting men and women is an important part of honoring their memories. Even without visiting Washington, the advent of these traveling memorial sites can offer you the experience of looking through the engraved names, and paying tribute to a generation that fought and died in Vietnam.