History and details behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As we anxiously wait for the Wall that Heals to be showcased here in Erie Memorial Day weekend, we’re getting to know a little bit more about the details and history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Vietnam war was a controversial and politically charged war that has made a lasting impact on our nation, especially those who served there. Built in 1982, the memorial itself is one of a kind. The shiny black granite wall is in the shape of a wide V. The names of more than 58-thousand service members who are confirmed dead or missing in action, are arranged on the wall in the order they were lost. Throughout the years, we continue to find the remains of those who fought for us over in Vietnam and when they’re identified, symbols by their name get changed. It marks they’ve finally been found and returned home after all these years.
“We try to invite those families to come to the wall on Memorial Day and so those families are able to go up to the wall, touch their brother’s name if they’re able to reach it and basically realize this is the homecoming we’ve all been waiting for,” said Tim Tetz, director of outreach for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
While this memorial brings in visitors near and far, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial fund said it’s important to share this memorial with as many people as possible.
“We find that every year it’s more and more important to get out on the road with the Wall that Heals as our Vietnam Veterans are aging,” said Heidi Zimmerman with the VVMF. “Many of them can’t travel here to Washington D.C. so even when we’re working close to D.C. within a couple of hours, we find people who have never visited Washington D.C. and the wall here and probably never will.”
The Wall that Heals, a replica that travels from town to town, brings this tribute from our nation's capital to your hometown. This weekend, those living in or passing through Erie will get a chance to see the Wall that Heals and pay tribute to those who served.
“We promise that you will have a rewarding experience once you see everything go up,” said Zimmerman.