By Mike Steely
The Wall That Heals exhibit opens in Knoxville on Thursday, April 21, with a 10 a.m. opening ceremony. The replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D. C., needs your help, especially if you are a military veteran.
The 3/4 size replica is 375 feet in length and 7.5 feet high at its apex. The key feature of the new replica is that visitors can do rubbings of the names of individual service members on the wall. The exhibit will be open through the 24th but the wall will need to be unloaded from the transport truck, assembled and installed by volunteers.
Military veterans from all services are invited to volunteer and are also being sought to stand for guide and guard duty at the wall.
Lynnhurst Cemetery at 2300 West Adair in Fountain City, just off North Broadway, will be hosting the installation which includes a mobile Education Center featuring a timeline of “The War and the Wall.” The display provides additional information on the Washington, D. C. memorial and shows items left at that notable wall.
A shuttle service from the nearby Adair Drive Food City will be provided from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Most people are unaware that the designer of the Washington Vietnam Memorial is Maya Lin, daughter of Chinese parents who escaped that country for a life in America. She submitted the winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1981 at the age of 21.
The Captain Bill Robinson Chapter 1078 of Vietnam Veterans of America hosts the “Wall That Heals” and the visit is being promoted by Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs. Support and sponsorship is also being given by the Tennessee Valley Authority Retirees Association and the Bicentennial Volunteers. Chris Albrecht, public information officer of Chapter 1078, provided much of the information on the Knoxville display.
If you are a veteran of any of the military services you may volunteer at www.thewallthathealsknoxville.org or email Reny McClain Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Reny Lee at (865)385-7184.