The Wake Forest Purple Heart Foundation will host The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, at E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Road, Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 18-21. Free and open to the public, the exhibit will be available 24-hours-a-day beginning 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, through 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21.
The Wall That Heals (TWTH) honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War and bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
Prior to Thursday’s official opening, TWTH will arrive in Joyner Park around noon on Tuesday, Oct. 16, as part of an impressive procession before being assembled on Wednesday, Oct. 17. Tuesday’s procession will include TWTH tractor trailer; numerous law enforcement vehicles, several first responder vehicles, including Wake Forest Fire Department fire trucks and Wake Forest Power utility vehicles; and various motorcycle groups.
The arrival route begins in Youngsville and continues through Rolesville before coming through Wake Forest. TWTH Planning Committee is inviting area residents and beyond to line the route between 11 a.m. and noon on Tuesday and watch as the procession winds its way to Joyner Park. To view the arrival route, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/twth-arrival-route.aspx.
The public is invited to The Wall’s official Welcoming Ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 4 p.m. The service will take place near The Wall exhibit, which will be situated in the grassy field adjacent to the Joyner Park visitor parking lot.
One of the highlights of the Welcoming Ceremony promises to be a flyover by the Bandit Flight Team. Based in Raleigh, NC, the Bandit Flight Team is a group of highly trained, experienced pilots that combine their love of flying with an appreciation for vintage military aircraft. The Bandits fly their aircraft to preserve the military Warbird heritage and as an opportunity to salute returning war veterans.
Several events are scheduled as part of TWTH visit to Wake Forest, including free showings of “Etchings in Stone” Oct. 18-20 at 7 p.m. in the Joyner Park Amphitheater. To view the entire schedule of events, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/schedule-of-events-2.aspx.
Wake Forest has the honor of being the only town in North Carolina scheduled to host TWTH in 2018. As such, Wake Forest will be among the first to host a new, larger exhibit, which includes a three-quarter scale Wall replica that is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. With the new replica at this size, visitors will be able to experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in Washington, D.C.
This year, for the first time in the history of The Wall That Heals, visitors will be able to perform “name rubbings” of individual service member’s names on The Wall.
In addition to The Wall replica, the exhibit includes a Mobile Education Center comprised of 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. The Mobile Education Center also features 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 and the collection of items left at The Wall in D.C.; educational exhibits told through items in the collection; a map of Vietnam; and a chronological overview of the Vietnam War.
For more information about The Wall That Heals in Wake Forest, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/the-wall-that-heals.aspx and “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/twthwakeforestnc/.