For those who visit The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the experience can be overwhelming and emotional. The black granite memorial bears the names of more than 58,000 Vietnam War Veterans killed or missing in action during that war.
Since 1996, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), a nonprofit organization, has been displaying a 250-foot half-scale, transportable replica of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. “The Wall that Heals,” as the replica is known, was created to bring The Vietnam Veterans Memorial experience to communities all across the United States.
“The Wall that Heals” features a mobile education center that displays the names and photos of service members along with memorabilia and letters from family and friends left at the National Memorial in Washington, D.C. The mobile education center also includes a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the Vietnam War that puts the American experience in an historical and cultural context.
To date, “The Wall That Heals” has traveled to more than 400 cities and towns across the nation garnering huge crowds and ceremonies. The hundreds of thousands who visit each year include Veterans, their family members, students, charitable organizations and community members.
Although the war has been over for 40 years, many of our servicemen and women and their families are still dealing with its emotional and psychological effects. “The Wall That Heals” helps Vietnam Veterans for whom a trip to D.C. isn’t an option find the strength and courage to cope within their own communities, furthering the healing process.
And the traveling exhibit transcends the Vietnam War; it also helps Veterans of the Gulf War and recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families find healing and a deeper appreciation for the service, sacrifice and courage of our Military personnel.
Since its founding in 1936, GEICO has been committed to the men and women serving in our Armed Forces. The company recently renewed and increased its long-standing sponsorship of the “The Wall that Heals” for 2016 and has promised to double every gift VVMF receives by December 31 – dollar for dollar, up to $50,000.
Learn more about GEICO’s VVMF donation match and make your own donation online.
Find out more ways you can Support Veterans Beyond Veterans Day.
By Tony Blue