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News Release

25th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

28 August 2006


Communities across the United States are invited to participate in the 25th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by sponsoring the half-scale traveling replica, The Wall That Heals, to visit their locations, said Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

The Wall That Heals provides an excellent opportunity for Americans who cannot visit Washington, D.C. to still have a Wall experience,” Scruggs explained. “And veterans who may not be ready to visit the Memorial in Washington can go see the replica in their hometown, surrounded by friends and family.”

Inaugurated in 1996, The Wall That Heals has visited over 250 locations throughout the United States, spreading the Memorial’s healing legacy to millions. It left the country for the first time in 1999, when it traveled to Ireland to honor the Irish-born casualties of the Vietnam War. The Wall That Heals has also traveled to Canada.

When The Wall That Heals visits a community, it is available for a Thursday-through-Sunday display period, with additional time for set-up and tear-down. Activities surrounding the exhibit’s arrival are up to the individual sponsors. Some communities have given The Wall That Heals a motorcycle escort as it arrives in town. Others have arranged for military flyovers. Some communities read the names of those from the area whose names are on The Wall. Others have ceremonies and wreath-layings involving local veterans’ organizations.

In addition to the half-scale replica of The Wall, The Wall That Heals traveling exhibit features a museum and information center. The museum chronicles the Vietnam War era and explores the unique healing power of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The information center helps visitors learn more about friends and loved ones lost in the war, and volunteers assist them in finding names on The Wall.

Sites are approved for a Wall That Heals visit on a first-come, first-served basis, working with the travel schedule already in place. Sites pay a $5,000 sponsorship fee and are responsible for providing accommodations and per diem expenses for the two site managers who travel with the exhibit.

Most dates are still open for 2007. For more information or to begin the application process, send an e-mail to: mpayne@vvmf.org. The application to host The Wall That Heals in 2007 can also be downloaded from the Memorial Fund Web site (see blue column).

This year marked the 10th anniversary of The Wall That Heals, and the Memorial Fund marked the occasion by unveiling a new replica for the 2006 tour. Normal wear and tear make it necessary to replace the replica periodically, and it was decided in 2005 to retire the previous version after three years on the road.

The retired replica is available for any community that wishes to give it a permanent home. For more information on the 2007 tour schedule or on the retired replica, contact mpayne@vvmf.org.

The Wall That Heals is supported by national sponsors, including Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Trust, Federal Express, Fujitsu Transaction Solutions, Inc., Harley-Davidson Foundation and Target Corporation. DAV and Harley-Davidson doubled their contributions this year to help pay for manufacturing a new replica.

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 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center, an underground educational facility, near The Wall.
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