Mohave High School students bring the ‘Wall That Heals’ to town
The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to Bullhead City on October 21 – 24 at Mohave High School. It will be open 24 hours a day and is free to the public. The Wall That Heals honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War, It also bears the names of the 58,279 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam, including those from this area.
“Mohave High School is proud and honored to be chosen as a site host for The Wall That Heals this October,” said Mohave High student government advisor and alumnus David Lipinski, whose student council members helped organize the event. “This is an opportunity to bring a significant piece of American history to the Tri-State Area. Our hope is that we can provide our community with an event that is solemn, full of remembrance, as well as educational for the younger generations. I have all the confidence in Student Council to make this a successful event for everyone.”
The Bullhead City stop is one of only two scheduled in Arizona and the only one in the Tri-State region during 2021.
“The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit to Bullhead City and Mohave High School to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to experience The Wall,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. “We will work carefully with the host to provide a safe opportunity for the community to experience the healing and educational aspects of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Hosting The Wall That Heals provides an opportunity to honor and remember all those who served and sacrificed in the Vietnam War and educate visitors on the continuing impact of the Vietnam War on America.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers will be required to wear masks. Visitors will be encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing to safeguard the staff, volunteers and other visitors.
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.
The three-quarter scale Wall replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. Visitors will experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in D.C. Visitors is able to do name rubbings of individual service member’s names on The Wall.
The mobile Education Center exhibit includes: digital photo displays of “Hometown Heroes” – service members whose names are on The Wall that list their home of record within the area of a visit; digital photo displays of Vietnam veterans from the local area honored through VVMF’s In Memory program which honors veterans who returned home from Vietnam and later died as a result of their service; video displays that teach about the history and impact of The Wall; educational exhibits told through items representative of those left at The Wall in D.C.; a replica of the In-Memory plaque; a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the Vietnam War. The exhibits tell the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era surrounding the conflict, and are designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context.
The 2021 national The Wall That Heals tour is generously sponsored by USAA. Through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), the trucking industry, and Blue Beacon, the exhibit is able to travel across the country. As well, Mohave High School Student Council will be looking for local sponsors to assist in bringing the exhibit to Bullhead City.
Mohave High’s Student Council will be reaching out to veterans and community organizations throughout the Tri-State area to attend and participate, noted Lipinski.
Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in nearly 700 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005. The Wall That Heals is a program of VVMF, the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1982. The Wall That Heals is the only traveling exhibit affiliated with The Wall in Washington, D.C. and includes the largest Wall replica that travels the country. Two VVMF staff members lead volunteers on site, educate visitors and students, and ensure the reflective atmosphere of The Wall. More information can be found at: www.thewallthatheals.org.