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During an Eastland County Museum meeting January 22nd, E. T. Bradley, president of EBAA Iron, mentioned the possibility of having some commemorative medallions made to hand out during the visit of The Wall That Heals. A little over a week later, he called to say they were in production.
The mobile exhibit, The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to Eastland on April 12-15. The Eastland County Museum will be hosting the exhibit.
EBAA Iron has designed and made 1500 commemorative medallions to be handed out free to visitors of The Wall That Heals. A visit to EBAA Iron Thursday let us see the process of making the medallions and allowed a first look at the finished product. Bradley explained the meaning behind the design. On the face of the medallion is the chevron design representing the Wall, with Eastland, Texas raised around the edge. “The Wall That Heals” and 2018 are across the bottom of the medallion. The bottom of the medallion is flat. “The missing part of the circle represents those soldiers that didn’t come home,” Bradley said. Over 1,600 service members are unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Bradley went on to explain that “the fact that it stands up represents those who did come back, that they can stand tall and be proud of what they did while they were over there.” He said the medallion was just a drawing on a piece of paper two days before but after handing the idea to the pattern shop supervisor, Billy Moore, Moore dropped what he was doing and took charge of the project, getting them into production quickly.
There are 58,318 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial with 3,420 of those service members from Texas.
The Wall That Heals exhibit will be displayed on the property next to Farmers & Merchants Bank, 930 E. Main St. The exhibit will be open 24 hours a day and will be free to the public. Eastland was selected from over 100 applicants and will be one of 40 communities across the U.S. hosting the traveling exhibit this year. It is currently scheduled to have only four stops this year in Texas.
The current schedule and more information can be found at: www.thewallthatheals.org.