KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. that is traveling across America arrived in East Tennessee on Tuesday. East Tennessee veterans and their families, along with the community are welcoming “The Wall That Heals” exhibit.
The Wall That Heals exhibit will be on display at Lynnhurst Cemetery on Adair Drive in North Knoxville from Thursday, April 21 to Sunday, April 24. The opening ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday and the exhibit will remain open 24/7 until 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The Wall That Heals is a replica spanning 375 feet in length and standing 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. After installation, the 53-foot trailer that carries the wall becomes an exhibit of its own with a timeline of “The War and The Wall,” providing additional information about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Chris Albrecht with the Captain Bill Robinson Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America spoke about why the wall being in East Tennessee is so important.
“That war was 50 years ago, but there’s still people hurting from it and an awful lot of guys that never received an appropriate welcome home or ‘Thank You’ because the war was terribly unpopular politically,” said Albrecht.
He also said it’s good for families of veterans. “So, it’s got a lot of healing when people can feel like they touched base with their loved one.”
After an opening ceremony, the wall will be open to the public 24 hours a day through Sunday. Albrecht said that’s another factor that will help veterans who may be more reluctant to visit the monuments built in their honor.
“There might be some veteran who is really struggling with PTSD and with bad memories, that individual can come out at two or three in the morning if he or she wants to visit the wall,” he said. “There’s not going to be many people around at that time, but it gives that opportunity.”