KSPS Public Television will host The Wall That Heals, a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, on August 24-27, 2017, at Mirabeau Point Park in Spokane Valley. The exhibit will be open 24 hours a day and is free to the public. The Wall That Heals 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 more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in Washington, D.C., with more than 5.6 million visitors each year. However, many Americans have not been able to visit what has become known to many as "The Wall." The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the organization that built The Wall in 1982, wants to give all veterans and their family members all across America an opportunity to see the Memorial.
"Taking The Wall That Heals on the road gives thousands more veterans and their family members an opportunity to see The Wall and honor those who have served and sacrificed so much," said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. "It helps veterans from all of America's conflicts to find healing and a powerful connection through their common military experiences."
More than 200,000 people visited The Wall That Heals in 2016. Since its 1996 debut, the exhibit has been on display in nearly 500 U.S. communities, the Four Provinces of Ireland, and Canada. Hosting The Wall That Heals provides an educational experience for schools and organizations on the history of the Vietnam era and The Wall. The exhibit includes displays of photos of service members named on The Wall; memorabilia left at The Wall in D.C.; a map of Vietnam; and an overview of the Vietnam War. The exhibits tell the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall, and the era surrounding the conflict.
The Wall That Heals is hauled through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association and sponsored by: USAA, PBS, and GEICO.
Spokane-area sponsors are KSPS Public Television, City of Spokane Valley, Eastern Washington University, MacKay Manufacturing and IRS Environmental. In addition, several veterans groups and other organizations have committed to partnering with KSPS to provide volunteers and other help, and the list of supporters is still growing. Over 120 volunteers are needed to assemble the exhibit and cover shifts around the clock while The Wall and Education Center are on display.
The Wall That Heals will be strategically located across the street from the Spokane Vet Center whose clinicians specialize in working with combat Veterans and their families. This placement will help ensure that clinical support resources will be readily available to our local combat Veterans and family members as they visit the Wall.
"KSPS and our partners are honored to help bring The Wall That Heals to the Spokane region," said Gary Stokes, President and General Manager of KSPS Public Television. "About 25,000 men and women in the Inland Northwest served in the military during the Vietnam era. This is one way we all can honor their service and sacrifice."
KSPS will air a 10-part historical documentary series produced by acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns, The Vietnam War, in September. Eastern Washington University is developing three public forums on the subject, with the first coming up this spring.