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Selleck To Unveil Education Center Exhibits

20 March 2009


Actor Tom Selleck will unveil the exhibits that replicate those in the future Education Center at The Wall in a ceremony near the Lincoln Memorial at 10:30 a.m. on March 26.

The Memorial Fund announced earlier this year that Selleck had signed on as national spokesman for The Education Center at The Wall: America’s Legacy of Service, a visitors and education facility being built on the National Mall. Ralph Appelbaum Associates is designing the exhibits for the Center and also crafted the exhibits for the traveling museum to closely replicate what will appear in The Education Center at The Wall when it is completed.

“What we will show in great detail in the Center is being shown in an abbreviated format in the traveling museum,” said Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. “Both exhibits will tell the stories of the men and women whose names are on The Wall. They will showcase items left in tribute to them at the Memorial. We consider this mobile museum to be a traveling ambassador for The Education Center at The Wall.”

In fact, the traveling museum unveiling will take place on the spot that is the future home for The Education Center at The Wall: a wedge of land bordered by Constitution Ave., Henry Bacon Drive and 23rd Street, near the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans Memorials. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 26. Speakers will include:
  • Tom Selleck, national spokesman for The Education Center at The Wall
  • Congressman Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.
  • Paul Rieckhoff, executive director and founder of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
  • Artie Muller, chairman of the board, and Walt Sides, president of Rolling Thunder
  • Lisa Quiroz, senior vice president of corporate responsibility for Time Warner
  • Mary Beth Byrne, Ralph Appelbaum Associates
  • Jan Scruggs, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, master of ceremonies

The museum is part of the Memorial Fund’s traveling replica of The Wall, called The Wall That Heals, which has been touring the country and bringing healing to thousands of individuals in over 300 communities since it began touring in 1996.

Featherlite, the Iowa-based company that built the original museum trailer, has been working on the current overhaul since December. The goal was to provide a refurbished and improved trailer that would safely house the traveling replica and provide an aesthetically friendly environment for the exhibits. The 45-foot aluminum trailer has large display windows on both sides that can be uncovered to reveal the displays for the Traveling Education Center.

Representatives from Featherlite will be on hand at the March 26 ceremony, as will representatives from New Century Transportation, which donated the semi cab being used to transport the The Wall That Heals.

The yearly tour schedule for The Wall That Heals, which spans from April to November this year and includes more than 20 stops, is made possible by these national sponsors: Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Trust; GEICO; Harley-Davidson Foundation; FedEx; New Century Transportation and Target Corporation.

The Wall That Heals
Launched in 1996, The Wall That Heals is a half-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that has traveled to over 300 communities in the United States, spreading the message of healing to individuals who may not otherwise have the opportunity to visit The Wall in Washington, D.C. The Wall That Heals traveling exhibit includes a recently refurbished museum and an information center, where volunteers can help visitors find the names of friends and loved ones on The Wall.

About The Education Center at The Wall: America’s Legacy of Service
The Education Center at The Wall is a visitors and education facility being built underground on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Exhibits will include a wall of photographs of those whose names are on The Wall, a selection of the over 100,000 items that have been left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and a timeline of key military events in the Vietnam War. A section of the Center will illustrate the legacy of service demonstrated by the American people, showing images of those who served in all of America’s conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to Iraq. The Education Center will be built entirely with private funds, including the lead gift of $10 million from Time Warner.

Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Today, through a series of outreach programs, it is dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing, educating about the impact of the Vietnam War and is building The Education Center at The Wall underground near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
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