BY: MACKENZIE FLOREEN
From September 21st – September 24th, 2023, Kutztown will host The Wall That Heals, a 375-foot long and 7.5-foot wide mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The original memorial is located in Washington D.C. and stands 10 feet 3 inches at its tallest point and 493 feet in total length. The Kutztown Community Partnership is proud to bring this momentous occasion to our community alongside the dedicated members of the Kutztown Vietnam Veterans Breakfast Club.
The Wall That Heals was first unveiled by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) on Veterans Day 1996. The VVMF built and designed The Wall That Heals to travel across the United States—visiting communities and honoring local heroes along the way. Bringing The Wall to communities all across the nation allows servicemembers, families, friends, and community members to memorialize and enshrine local Vietnam veterans right from their very own hometowns. The Wall That Heals aims to spread and honor and recognition of Vietnam Veterans beyond the bounds of Washington D.C. Having visited close to 700 communities, Kutztown is proudly anticipating the replica’s arrival this fall.
When visiting The Wall That Heals, attendees will be able to visit the three-quarter scale replica as well as The Wall That Heals Mobile Education Center. The Wall is assembled in a chevron shape with panels of increasing height just like the original memorial in D.C. The Wall That Heals is engraved with over 58,000 names of Vietnam servicemembers—the replica is constructed of synthetic granite, allowing visitors to create name rubbings of individual veterans. Whenever attendees choose to visit The Wall, the mobile memorial is equipped with LED lighting, allowing visitors to clearly find, and read the name of specific servicemembers whether rain or shine.
Just as with the original design, The Wall That Heals lists the names of veterans based on the day of casualty. The East Wall (right-hand wall) begins from the center of the memorial and represents the beginning of the Vietnam War. At the furthest end of the West Wall, the names begin again and work their way back toward the apex of the memorial, representing the end of the war.
The KCP and the KVVBC are honored to have worked with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to bring this event to our cherished community. We know this divisive era in America impacted people and communities all across the nation—Kutztown being no different. We are highly anticipating being able to bring the healing and legacy of The Wall to our very own hometown. Check back here in the coming months to discover even more about The Wall That Heals. We can’t wait to see you there this fall!