ATHENS — The Wall That Heals will visit Tailgreat Park on the campus of Ohio University from July 28 until Aug. 1 and will be open 24 hours a day with volunteer help.
The wall is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and travels the country with a mobile Education Center, according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website. Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Boone Troyer said the travelling wall gives those who cannot go to D.C. an opportunity to see a life-sized replica of the real memorial.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Terry St. Peter, director of the Ohio University Veterans and Military Student Services Center, said he is excited to see the Wall That Heals coming back to Athens.
“I was simply in awe with the emotional response from many of the veterans that visited the wall during the last visit to Athens. It provided a chance to pay respect to family and friends lost during the war,” St. Peter said. “The education center that comes along with the wall also helps our younger generations understand what our service members experienced.”
“There might be veterans in our community or family members of veterans that were in the Vietnam War that might not have the opportunity to go to D.C. and see the wall,” Troyer said.
Troyer’s office is trying to get volunteers to sign up. Anyone interested in volunteering can visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c45aeab2ba1fbc52-thewall to sign up. Volunteers are needed to help set up and disassemble The Wall/Education Center and assist visitors. Troyer said there will be volunteer coordinators who help train volunteers so they know what to do.
Troyer said Marketing Manager Amy Spoutz gave him the idea, and they decided to bring the wall to Athens for locals and visitors. They are working with OU’s Veterans and Military Student Services Center, the city and have been talking to local law enforcement. There will be a motorcade when the wall comes to town.
“There will be a parade route of the motorcade coming in for the wall to be set up,” Troyer said.
St. Peter urged the public to attend.
“I encourage everyone to make the time to visit the exhibit, so you can get a true understanding of the cost of war in our most valued resource – people,” he said. “To see the magnitude of names on these sections of walls cannot be explained. It must be seen.”
Information provided by Ohio University.