The Wall That Heals – a tribute to tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans – will go on display in the Oklahoma State Capitol complex for the first time. The traveling half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. will arrive at Oklahoma History Center on Nov. 8, and remain open to the public free of charge until Nov. 12.
Created by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the 250-foot-long wall has more than 58,000 names inscribed on it to allow visitors to remember and honor those who made the sacrifice of service, many of whom did not receive the “Welcome Home” that occurred with previous conflicts.
A Mobile Education Center – displaying pictures of service members, as well as letters and memorabilia – will accompany the wall, which will receive a formal opening with music from the 145th Oklahoma National Guard Band on Thursday.
According to the Oklahoma Veteran's Memorial, nearly 1,000 Oklahomans were killed during the Vietnam War, and more than 100,000 Oklahomans served in the war.
The traveling memorial coincides with the opening of the Oklahoma History Center’s latest exhibition “Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam.” The new display explores the impact of the war on Oklahoma families, as told through those who served and the immigrant families who fled from Vietnam and came to Oklahoma.
The exhibition, which also features a Huey helicopter donated by Oklahoman Bob Ford, will open on Monday and stay on display for two years. Ford says, “Any Army pilot or crew member who had the privilege to fly the Huey in combat loves it; it never let us down.”
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