Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica to visit Oneonta, Port Byron this year

The Wall That Heals, a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile education center, will be making two stops in New York in 2017; in 2016, it only visited one location in New York, just outside Schenectady.

From May 25-29, the exhibit will be in Oneonta. It then travels to Port Byron for a stay June 1-4. The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Wall That Heals honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces in the Vietnam War, and its walls bear the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in America, with more than 5.6 million visitors each year. However, many Americans have not been able to visit what has become known to many as “The Wall.” The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the organization that built The Wall, wants to give all Veterans and their family members an opportunity to see the memorial.

“Taking The Wall That Heals on the road gives thousands more Veterans and their family members an opportunity to see The Wall and honor those who have served and sacrificed so much,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. “It helps Veterans from all of America’s conflicts to find healing and a powerful connection through their common military experiences.”

Since its debut in 1996, more than two million people have visited The Wall That Heals sites. It has made stops in nearly 400 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005. Hosting The Wall That Heals provides a community with a multi-day experience that includes an educational experience for local schools and organizations on the history of the Vietnam era and The Wall. The exhibit includes a mobile education center comprised of a digital display of photos of local service members whose names are found on The Wall, letters and memorabilia left at The Wall in D.C., a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the conflict in Vietnam. The exhibits tell the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era surrounding the conflict, and are designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context.

For more information about The Wall That Heals, including the current schedule, visit www.thewallthatheals.org.

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About the half-scale replica

The replica Wall is approximately 250 feet in length, and like the original memorial is erected in a chevron-shape. The replica is constructed of powder-coated aluminum, supported by an aluminum frame, and is made up of 24 individual panels, each containing six columns of names.

The names on The Wall That Heals replicate the names on The Wall in Washington, D.C. As on The Wall, the names are listed alphabetically by day of casualty. Beginning at the center/apex, the names start on the east wall (right-hand side) working their way out to the end of that wing, picking up again at the far end of the west wall (left-hand side) and working their way back in to the center/apex. Thus, the beginning and ending of the conflict are joined at the center, signifying an epoch in American history.

The Wall That Heals is transported from community to community by a 53-foot, fifth-wheel trailer with cases built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile education center that tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history.