Veterans, families, friends and the general public have several options to see Vietnam memorial walls in 2021 with the release of traveling wall schedules.
However, with the release, most organizations are also saying to check before planning a visit, as states have different COVID-19 restrictions in place. Below are the different options.
The Wall That Heals
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund operates The Wall That Heals. It unveiled the replica on Veterans Day 1996. Since then, more than 600 communities have seen the traveling display.
The Wall That Heals exhibit features a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. Visitors experience The Wall rising above them as they walk toward its apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in D.C.
The 53-foot trailer that carries The Wall That Heals transforms to become a mobile Education Center. The exterior of the trailer features a timeline of “The War and The Wall” and provides additional information about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
VVMF’s 2021 schedule starts in North Carolina April 8. Stops include Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado, New Medico, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Texas and Tennessee.
More information on its schedule is at https://www.vvmf.org/The-Wall-That-Heals/2021-Tour-Schedule/.
The Moving Wall
The Moving Wall is a half-size replica, touring since 1984. Two replicas now travel the U.S. from April-November, spending about a week at each site.
The schedule for The Moving Wall includes stops in Nevada, Arizona, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, North Dakota, Michigan, Washington, Oregon, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Vermont, Kansas and Georgia.
The schedule is at http://www.themovingwall.org/current_schedule.html.
American Veterans Traveling Tribute
American Veterans Traveling Tribute shows an 80% replica Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. It measures 360 feet long by eight feet high at its apex. Displays also fly flags over the wall.
These events start May 12 in Virginia. There’s also planned stops in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, South Dakota, Nevada, Michigan, Minnesota, Utah, Texas, Wyoming, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Indiana. More information on their schedule is at https://www.americanveteranstravelingtribute.com/schedule.
Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall is a 3/5 scale that stands six feet tall at the center and covers almost 300 feet from end to end. Vietnam and All Veterans of Brevard, located in Brevard County, Florida, manages the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall.
The schedule starts April 11 in Melbourne and includes stops in Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Tennessee and New Jersey.
The schedule is at http://www.travelingwall.us/schedule_of_appearances.htm.
The Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall has one event planned for 2021. The event is Nov. 10-15 at Bucklin Park, 1350 S 8th St, El Centro, CA 92243.
The organization keeps up-to-date information on its website at www.avwall.org and on their Facebook page.
Outreach specialists and counselors will be on hand at many locations to meet with Veterans and families wanting to learn more about how Vet Centers aid in the readjustment of a Veteran or service member after deployment or trauma. They will engage safely in accordance with state and local guidelines.
Vietnam Veterans originally established Vet Centers and still hold true to keeping that promise today.
Vietnam War Commemoration
Many sites will also hold Vietnam War Commemoration events. To find an event, go to https://www.vietnamwar50th.com/events/. To learn about the lapel pin ceremonies, see https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/67922/vietnam-veterans-families-honored-thanked-program/.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., is the most well-known of the memorials. Set on two acres on the National Mall, the public may visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 24 hours a day.
Face masks are required on National Park Service-administered lands where physical distancing cannot be maintained and in all NPS buildings and facilities. Park operations vary based on local public health conditions. Before visiting, please check the park website to determine its operating status. Additional details are available at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
The Missouri National Veterans Memorial in Perryville is a “sister wall” to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The Vietnam Wall and grounds are open 24/7. The site is located about 90 minutes south of St. Louis. More information is at https://mnvmfund.org/.
Before visiting one of the traveling walls, a doctor from the National Center for PTSD said Veterans with PTSD should consider their expectations for the visit and how the visit fits into their recovery goals.
“Think through, ‘What do I hope to get out of this?” said Dr. Sonya Norman, director of the center’s PTSD Consultation Program. “Know what you expect so you’re not disappointed or overwhelmed. That can help the visit be a rich and meaningful experience.”
Norman said how the visit may impact someone’s PTSD is varied and complex, so there is no one way to approach it. She added that, even though people with PTSD share common symptoms, people have different experiences and feelings regarding their trauma. Getting an evidence based treatment for PTSD helps Veterans in recovery.