Traveling Wall To Visit Motorcycle Rally
29 July 2010
The Wall That Heals, a half-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, will be in Sturgis, S.D. from August 7th to 13th as part of the 2010 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Many activities are planned around the replica’s seven-day stay in South Dakota. The Wall That Heals will be accompanied into town on Aug. 6 by a motorcycle escort expected to number around 100. The escort will depart from Black Hills Harley-Davidson in Rapid City and arrive at the Broken Spoke Campground in Sturgis, where the Wall replica will be displayed.
Opening ceremonies on Aug. 7 will include local dignitaries and representatives from Harley-Davidson, Rolling Thunder and VVMF. The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) will host a Mobile Service Van throughout The Wall That Heals’ stay in Sturgis to help veterans from all wars with VA claims. The Wall That Heals will leave Sturgis after closing ceremonies on Aug. 13.
Harley-Davidson and Rolling Thunder are the organizations responsible for bringing The Wall That Heals to Sturgis for the 2010 Motorcycle Rally. In addition to being a site host, Harley-Davidson has been a national sponsor of The Wall That Heals since 2001, reflecting the organization’s deep commitment to veterans’ causes.
Rolling Thunder was formed to bring visibility to POW/MIA issues and other causes related to Vietnam veterans. Last Memorial Day marked the 23rd “Run to The Wall” sponsored by Rolling Thunder.
DAV, which will be a participant in the Sturgis event, is also a national sponsor of The Wall That Heals. The DAV Charitable Service Trust has sponsored the traveling replica since 2000.
In addition to Harley-Davidson and DAV, other national sponsors include: FedEx Corporation, GEICO, New Century Transportation and Target Corporation. National sponsors for The Wall That Heals contribute funds that help defray the many expenses involved in operating this traveling exhibit. New Century Transportation contributes a semi cab to transport the replica and museum trailer around the country.
The Wall That Heals is different from other traveling Wall replicas in that it also includes a traveling museum and information center. In the information center, visitors can receive help looking up names and finding their locations on The Wall, even if they have only partial information.
The traveling museum is located in the trailer that transports the Wall replica. Nine large display windows on both sides open to reveal museum exhibits giving more information about the Vietnam War, the people who served and the creation of The Wall. The museum was renovated before the 2009 travel season by the same exhibit design firm that is creating displays for the Education Center at The Wall, a learning facility being built near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The new traveling museum, which includes photos of those whose names are on The Wall and items that have been left there in tribute, was created using the same concepts that will be used in the Center.
The Traveling Museum features photographs of some of the more than 58,000 individuals whose names are on The Wall. These photographs are being collected by VVMF for use in the Education Center, where a special video wall will feature these photos, larger than life, on the individuals’ birthdays. The information center accompanying The Wall That Heals includes computers equipped with scanners, so friends and loved ones who have photos to contribute may do so when they visit the replica in Sturgis.
VVMF’s Outreach Coordinator Jason Cain will be a featured speaker at the opening ceremonies and will be on-hand throughout the entire Wall That Heals stay to answer questions about VVMF’s plans for the Education Center. Cain, who is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is responsible for organizing grassroots activities for the Center in communities around the United States, and he will be talking with visitors about how they can gather photos and raise support for the Education Center in their own hometowns.
For more information about The Wall That Heals or to see the entire 2010 tour schedule, visit www.vvmf.org
. For information about the Education Center at The Wall, visit www.buildthecenter.org
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