LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — "The Wall That Heals," a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to Lemont Furnace beginning Oct. 12 through Oct. 15 at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, and will be open 24 hours a day and free to the public. The Wall honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War, and it bears the names of the 58,281 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
“Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus is honored to host The Wall That Heals. We are truly grateful about the opportunity to partner with the Fayette County Cultural Trust on this project to honor those who served in the Vietnam War,” said Charles Patrick, chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State Fayette. “Our location along a major thoroughfare between Uniontown and Connellsville makes our campus an ideal site for this exhibit. We are extremely proud to have been chosen to host the memorial.”
“The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit to Lemont Furnace, to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to experience The Wall,” said Jim Knotts, president, and CEO of VVMF. “Hosting The Wall That Heals provides an opportunity to honor and remember all those who served and sacrificed in the Vietnam War and educate visitors on the continuing impact of the Vietnam War on America.”
The Wall is transported from community to community in a 53-foot trailer. When parked, the trailer opens with exhibits built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile education center telling the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history.
The three-quarter scale replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. Visitors will experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in D.C. Visitors are able to do name rubbings of individual service member’s names on The Wall.
The mobile education center exhibit includes: digital photo displays of “Hometown Heroes,” service members whose names are on The Wall that list their home of record within the area of a visit; digital photo displays of Vietnam veterans from the local area honored through VVMF’s "In Memory" program which honors veterans who returned home from Vietnam and later died; video displays that teach about the history and impact of The Wall; educational exhibits told through items representative of those left at The Wall in D.C.; a replica of the "In Memory" plaque; a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the Vietnam War. The exhibit is designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context.
The 2023 national The Wall That Heals tour is generously sponsored by USAA. Through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association, the trucking industry, and Blue Beacon, the exhibit is able to travel across the country. These local community leaders and organizations have graciously contributed to make this event possible:
- Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus
- Fayette County Cultural Trust
- Fayette County Commissioners
- National Daughters of the American Revolution, Fort Necessity Chapter
Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in more than 700 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005. The Wall That Heals is a program of VVMF, the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1982. The Wall That Heals is the only traveling exhibit affiliated with The Wall in Washington, D.C. and includes the largest Wall replica that travels the country. Two VVMF staff members lead volunteers on site, educate visitors and students, and ensure the reflective atmosphere of The Wall. More information can be found at: www.thewallthatheals.org.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF continues to lead the way in paying tribute to our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families. VVMF’s mission is to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era through programs, ceremonies and education materials. To learn more about VVMF, visit www.vvmf.org or call 202-393-0090.