EASTLAND, TX – The Wall That Heals, a ¾ scale replica of the original Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC will stop in Eastland for four days courtesy of the Eastland County Museum, the City of Eastland and Farmers & Merchants Bank. The Wall That Heals will be on display at 930 E Main, Eastland.
A new, larger The Wall That Heals standing some 7 1/2 feet tall at the center is 375 feet long and holds over 58,000 names of service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War from 1956 until 1975. This new Wall design allows visitors to do actual name rubbings with paper and pencils provided at the information tent accompanying The Wall That Heals and the Mobile Education Center. The Education Center has displays along the sides and tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era surrounding the conflict. The displays include the Wall of Faces which is the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Fund’s, owners of the exhibit and founders of the Washington, DC Wall, effort to put a face to every name on The Wall. Photos on display will of those service members on The Wall who were born on that day. Other displays include Hometown Heroes on The Wall where photos and information of local service members on The Wall is displayed; In Memory Honor Roll featuring local Vietnam veterans who died from Vietnam-related causes after the war ended; and a display of items representative of those left at The Wall in Washington, DC as remembrances of those on The Wall.
The Wall That Heals, under full escort by area law enforcement, Patriot Guard Riders, Christian Motorcycle Association and other motorcycle clubs and should exit at Cisco Wednesday, April 11 at approximately 10:45 a.m. The Escort will meet up with local law enforcement and additional motorcyclists where it will then proceed to downtown Cisco and on into Eastland via Texas State Highway 6. The Escort will travel through downtown Eastland passing the downtown square at approximately 10:55 a.m. arriving at the exhibit location next to Farmers & Merchants Bank, 930 E Main by 11 a.m. We encourage everyone who can to line the sidewalks and streets to greet The Wall That Heals and escort.
Following a meet and greet photo session the assembly of The Wall That Heals will begin around 11:30 A.M. Eastland High School Maverick football players, along with the ROTC class from Tarleton and a host of other volunteers will begin the task of assembling The Wall That Heals. (If you would like to assist please be at the site by 11 a.m.) Assembly can take up to 8 hours depending on the number of volunteers on hand. At 6 p.m. there will be a mandatory training for those who will be staffing The Wall That Heals beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday and until 12 Noon on Sunday, April 15 when The Wall closes.
On Thursday, April 12 the Eastland County Museum will host an Honors Ceremony at 6 p.m. complete with a Color Guard assisted by Boy Scout Troop #103, 21 gun salute, flyover, patriotic music by Larry and Cindy Mace, Lacey Hayes and the Siebert Singers. Vietnam Veteran Larry Monroe will recognize those Vietnam Veterans in attendance as well as any Gold Star Families present. Colonel Jerry K “Kenny” Weldon USAF Retired of Stephenville will be the guest speaker. Eastland ISD teacher and coach Bobby Blackwell will mc the ceremony.
Prior to the Honors Ceremony from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Farmers & Merchants Bank will host a Grand Mixer in the bank lobby for all Veterans and guest. Everyone is invited to attend.
Eastland County has 6 men listed on The Wall: Larry Joe Rodgers of Ranger, Everett (Bubba) Everett of Olden, James K Gray of Carbon, Willie D Tyrone of Carbon, Joseph A Venable and Jerald D Wallace, both of Cisco. There are a large number of living Vietnam Veterans in or from Eastland County today as well as many who passed on after the war ended. All of these soldiers, living or deceased deserve our respect today for the disrespect they endured following the war.
(All photos courtesy DLG Photography)