EDINBURG, TEXAS – Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza says he is honored that his city is to host The Wall That Heals.

The Wall That Heals is a traveling, 375-foot-long, three-quarter scale, replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., that tours the country. It will be on display in the City of Edinburg from April 20, 2023-April 23, 2023 at the Ebony Hills Golf Club.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to host the Wall That Heals in our city. Edinburg is known as the ‘Hometown of Heroes,’ and it’s important we pay homage to not only our local heroes but also the thousands of men and women whose service and sacrifice have allowed us to enjoy the freedoms we have today,” Garza Jr. said.

The Wall That Heals is a program of VVMF, the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., in 1982. The Wall That Heals is the only traveling exhibit affiliated with The Wall in Washington, D.C., and includes the largest Wall replica that travels the country. Two VVMF staff members lead volunteers on site, educate visitors and students, and ensure the reflective atmosphere of The Wall.

Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in more than 700 U.S. communities, in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland, Connacht, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster, and a visit to Canada in 2005. 

UT-Rio Grande Valley, in conjunction with the City of Edinburg, will host the exhibit, which includes a replica wall and a mobile Education Center exhibit that tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era surrounding the conflict. 

Dr. Jeffrey Ward, dean of the UTRGV College of Fine Arts, said the free exhibit is designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context.

“The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is honored to have been selected to host this very special exhibit in partnership with the City of Edinburg,” Ward said. “At UTRGV, we honor our service members and veterans, including those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

The Wall and exhibit will be open 24 hours a day to the public, free of charge. The Wall honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and bears the names of the 58,281 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. Visitors will experience The Wall rising above them as they walk toward the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in Washington, D.C. In addition, visitors can find the name of a loved one and use paper and charcoal to make a rubbing of the etching in The Wall’s surface.

“The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit to Edinburg, to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to experience The Wall,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF. “Hosting The Wall That Heals provides an opportunity to honor and remember all those who served and sacrificed in the Vietnam War and educate visitors on the continuing impact of the Vietnam War on America.”

The exhibit will also feature a photo display dedicated to “Hometown Heroes” – service members whose names are on The Wall who list their home of record within the area of a visit.

The digital photo displays Vietnam veterans from the local area honored through the VVMF’s In Memory program, which honors veterans who returned home from Vietnam and later died. In addition, the exhibit will feature video displays that teach about the history and impact of The Wall; educational exhibits told through items representative of those left at The Wall in Washington, D.C.; a replica of the “In Memory” plaque; a map of Vietnam, and a chronological overview of the Vietnam War.

The 2023 national Wall That Heals tour is sponsored by USAA. Through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), the trucking industry, and Blue Beacon, the exhibit can travel across the country. 

Editor’s Note: For more information on the exhibit or to volunteer to assist with the set-up and tear down of the Wall That Heals or to serve throughout the four-day event, contact the Dustin M. Sekula Memorial Library at 956-383-6246 or visit www.cityofedinburg.com/wallthatheals

Editor’s Note: Click here to watch a video of The Wall That Heals. 

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