Woodbridge Community Park: July 18-21
Extraordinary. Breathtaking. Awe-Inspiring.
I will never forget my visit to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. It was a busy summer afternoon and, even though the Mall was filled with passing tourists, the atmosphere around The Wall was still and reverent. All visitors fell silent as soon as they approached, as if the sight of thousands of engraved names demanded their attention and respect.
Somehow seeing all of those names, gathered in one continuous list, made the sacrifices seem more real. So many names.
Although most Americans are aware of the casualties of the Vietnam War, many have not had the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. and see The Wall for themselves.
To solve this problem, on Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund unveiled a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Since its dedication, the exhibit has visited more than 350 cities and towns throughout the nation, spreading the Memorial's healing legacy to millions.
The traveling exhibit, known as The Wall That Heals, allows the many thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.
Now the The Wall That Heals exhibition, a half-scale replica about 250 feet in length, will visit the City of Irvine July 18th-21 and be open to the public at Woodbridge Community Park.
The exterior sides of the trailer that carries The Wall That Heals open to become a mobile museum. Information cases display photos of service members whose names are found on The Wall, along with letters and memorabilia left at The Wall in D.C. The Museum also includes a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the conflict in Vietnam.
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.
For the first time, The Wall That Heals will be joined by The Global War on Terror Wall of Remembrance which lists the names of 9/11 victims as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice after the attack.
Manned by volunteers, the Memorials will be open 24 hours a day.
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, July 17 Wall and Escort arrive in Irvine between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30
Thursday, July 18 - 10 a.m. Opening Day Ceremony
Thursday, July 18 - 7 p.m. Bridging the Gap
Honoring both U.S. and South Vietnam Veterans
*Please refrain from wearing military uniforms
Friday, July 19 - 7 p.m. POW/MIA Tribute and Candle Lighting Ceremony
Red Shirt Friday*
*Wear a RED shirt to Remember Every Deployed
Saturday, July 20 - 10 a.m. Welcome & Gratitude Ceremony (Main event)
Sunday, July 21 - 6 p.m. Closing and Honor Walk of Flags Ceremony
Seating is limited, please bring folding chairs or blankets to sit on during the ceremonies.
For more information on how to volunteer or donate to insure future exhibitions, click here.