Many folks here in South Carolina will have Memorial Day off from work. That means time to sleep in, relax and maybe even host a barbecue. However, it is important to take some time to remember those who will not get to spend Memorial Day with their families, but were willing to die for our right to do so.
One good way to remember our fallen heroes may be to visit the Wall That Heals. It is a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C., and it is in Blythewood through Memorial Day. The Wall That Heals was unveiled by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) in 1996. The portable wall was created to be driven to numerous communities across the U.S. Since its debut 20 years ago, the Wall That Heals has traveled to more than 400 communities all over the country. In addition to The Wall, the exterior sides of the trailer that carries it can be opened to form a mobile Education Center. Says the VVMF website, “The traveling exhibit provides thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.”
The Vietnam Memorial (the model for the Wall That Heals) in Washington D.C. specifically commemorates those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. Over 58,000 Americans died in the war. Even those who returned from the war endured harsh treatment. Upon their return, many of the soldiers had things thrown at them, were spit upon and were verbally abused, all because the war had been so unpopular with many American citizens. Approximately 150,000 veterans returned from Vietnam wounded or amputated, and at least 21,000 were permanently disabled, unable to work for the rest of their lives.