‘Wall That Heals’ arriving soon

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Wall That Heals, a three-quarters-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., is coming to the Washington Parish Fairgrounds in Franklinton from Wednesday, Nov. 14, through Sunday, Nov. 18.

The exhibit, which displays the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives during the conflict, will be open 24 hours a day and is free to the public.

The exhibition will include a mobile Education Center that tells the story of the Vietnam War, the Memorial and the era surrounding the conflict, designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in an historical and cultural context.

“Everyone I have spoken to about The Wall That Heals visit has been elated to have it coming to Franklinton,” said State Sen. Beth Mizell, who was instrumental in bringing The Wall to Louisiana. “A Vietnam veteran who visited my office expressed a heartfelt desire for our local vets to see The Wall and the application for our area to host was spurred by his visit. There were over 100 requests to host The Wall in 2018, and ours was one of only 38 selected. This opportunity will be an unforgettable experience for area residents and visitors to our community.”

The Wall That Heals will arrive on Tuesday, Nov. 13, and be escorted to the fairgrounds by the Louisiana State Police. The Wall will be assembled on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and public viewing will begin at 5 p.m. Thereafter, the exhibit will be open 24/7 until closing ceremonies at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. Numerous school field trips are scheduled and more are expected.

A ceremony honoring Gold Star Families will be held Saturday, Nov. 17, at 11 a.m., and a 6 p.m. candlelight vigil and reading of the names will occur later that day. Volunteers are still needed, and those interested can also register on the website online at www.thewallfranklinton.com/volunteer.

The exhibit is free but donations are also welcome, and Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser will host a Donor Appreciation Banquet on Monday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. Donations of $500 or more are requested to attend the banquet, and must be received by Thursday, Nov. 1.

Donations are accepted online at www.thewallfranklinton.com/donate.