Texas Veterans Land Board is hosting The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen through Sunday. The Wall was put up on Wednesday will remain open 24 hours a day until 1 p.m. on Sunday.
An opening ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. today.
The Wall That Heals will be located near the assembly area inside the cemetery. It honors the more than 3 million Americans who served in the U.S. military in the Vietnam War, and it bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who died in Vietnam.
The Killeen cemetery, 11463 Texas Highway 195, is among the first to host the new, larger exhibit which includes a three-quarter scale Wall replica that is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. With the new replica, visitors will be able to experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in D.C. For the first time in the history of The Wall That Heals, visitors will be able to do name rubbings of individual service member’s names on The Wall, according to the VLB.
“We are thrilled to share the new The Wall That Heals exhibit with the public this year,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Fund. “Through The Wall That Heals, we are able to return the names home to communities across the country and allow Vietnam veterans and their family members who cannot make it to Washington, D.C., the opportunity to see The Wall. It gives communities a teaching moment for younger generations on why we should honor those who have served and sacrificed so much.”
A similar traveling memorial — the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall — came to the Killeen veterans cemetery in 2007. That 3/4-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall was seen by about 70,000 people during its stop in Killeen.