Vietnam Memorial wall replica has Centerville on 2023 tour schedule

‘The Wall that Heals” will be hosted by the Washington-Centerville Public Library in July

A traveling replica of the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial located in Washington, D.C., has Centerville on its agenda next year.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has announced that its “Wall That Heals” national tour for 2023 will include Centerville’s Washington-Centerville Public Library from July 27 to 30.

The exhibit includes what organizers say is a three-quarters scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial — about 125 yards long — along with a mobile education center. Library officials said it will be displayed at Stubbs Park.

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The 28th season of the wall exhibit begins in March and will visit 31 communities. The wall is coming to two other sites in Ohio and two in Indiana, but none of the others is within 100 miles of Dayton.

The traveling exhibit honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War, bearing the names of the 58,281 men and women who died in that war. Millions of Americans have traveled to the permanent memorial in Washington, to touch the names of their loved ones and grieve.

In August this year, a different memorial, the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Memorial, visited the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force for three days.

“March 29th of 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the removal of our combat troops from Vietnam,” Jim Knotts, president and chief executive of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, said in a statement. “This milestone, and the 50 years since the end of the Vietnam War are prominent in the collective memory of our nation and our Vietnam veterans. We look forward to providing our host communities a healing experience for local veterans and their families and an educational experience for all visitors.”

The Centerville-Washington Foundation recently awarded the library a $10,000 grant for the initial sponsorship of the exhibit.

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.

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