7 things to know about the traveling replica Vietnam Memorial Wall coming to New Bern

7 things to know about the traveling replica Vietnam Memorial Wall coming to New Bern

March 17, 2021


From New Bern Sun Journal
By Charlie Hall
March 16, 2021

The touring Vietnam  Memorial Wall replica – The Wall that Heals – a three-quarter scale of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in the nation’s capital, has traveled through 700 U.S. cities in the past 25 years. It’s first planned visit to New Bern in 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19, but it will arrive here next month for a four-day stay.

Here are some things you should know.

1. Where will the Vietnam Memorial Wall / The Wall that Heals be located?

April 8 to 11 in Lawson Creek Park, free, 24 hours a day, hosted by American Legion Post 539 and the Knights of Columbus, Assembly 1820. Programs will include location of 61 military personnel from Craven and surrounding counties killed in Vietnam.

2. How does the wall get assembled?

The “Wall that Heals” will travel by truck from Morehead City on April 6, escorted by the New Bern Police Motorcycle Division, other ENC motorcycle and classic car clubs. Arrival at Lawson Creek about 5:15 p.m., with large flag greeting by New Bern Fire & Rescue and the public. Remarks by Mayor Dana Outlaw. The wall will be assembled by a 30-person crew and open to the public at 7 p.m. on April 7.

3. When will the wall be open to visitors?

A 6 p.m. April 8 ceremony, with keynote speaker, retired Army 2nd Lt. Jane Knowles, a nurse in Vietnam. Event includes a MIA/POW ceremony and closing taps, with echo. Music by New Bern recording artist Bryan Mayer, 16,000-watt sound system by Bill Stafford Productions.

4. How do I volunteer to help at the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall?

About 200 are needed as ambassadors, parking attendants, help with volunteer check-in and do other odd jobs and run errands. All volunteers should attend a training session on April 7 at 6 p.m. There are two types of traffic and parking control positions available – Front Gate, which requires minimal standing and walking; and Traffic/Parking Control, which require significant standing and walking. Overflow parking will be at nearby Temple Chuirch, with city of New Bern shuttle to and from the wall site. Visit www.thewallatnewbern.com

5. When is the closing ceremony with speaker Lt. Col. Oliver North?

1 p.m. ceremony on April 11, with keynote speaker, retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North.

The All Veteran Parachute Team of former Army Golden Knights members, led by Michael Elliott, will parachute onto the site with flags and visual fanfare.

The public showing for the wall will end at 3 p.m.

6. How big is the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall that is coming to New Bern?

At ¾ scale, the wall is 375-feet long and 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. It includes the names of 58,320 servicemen – including eight women – who died in the 20-year-war, 1955 to 1975.

Like the original Memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a chevron-shape and visitors can do name rubbings of individual service member’s names.

The replica is constructed of Avonite, a synthetic granite, and its 140 numbered panels are supported by an aluminum frame. Machine engraving of the more than 58,000 names along with modern LED lighting provide readability of The Wall day and night.

The 53-foot trailer that carries The Wall That Heals transforms to become a mobile Education Center.

7. What is the history of the Vietnam Memorial Wall and The Wall That Heals?

On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund unveiled a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Since its dedication, The Wall That Heals has been seen by millions of Americans who might never get a chance to visit Washington.

The main components of The Wall That Heals are The Wall replica and the mobile Education Center.

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. Additional exhibits give visitors a better understanding of the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the collection of items left at The Wall.