The half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., accompanied by a Mobile Education Center, will be on display Dec. 6-10 at John Stiff Memorial Park, near the Gazebo, in Southwest Amarillo.
The traveling exhibit serves as a cornerstone in Panhandle PBS’ yearlong initiative Crossing the Divide: The Texas Panhandle Vietnam War Project, which was launched in combination with the 2017 documentary film The Vietnam War.
According to its 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 Wall that Heals will be open to the public 24 hours a day, beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6. Local volunteers will help install the exhibit, and serve as around-the-clock attendants and honor guards throughout its stay in Amarillo.
“It has been a tremendous privilege to connect our community and our veterans in a spirit of understanding, reconciliation and healing, and to gain a better understanding of the price of freedom,” Kevin Ball, CEO of Panhandle PBS, said.
“We are gratified by the large number of area supporters and volunteers who have stepped up to help us host The Wall that Heals,” he said. “This will be a powerful exhibit, interactive and engaging, and we earnestly invite our entire community – veterans, families, students and neighbors – to visit The Wall and to expand their awareness, reflect, mourn, seek closure, connect and heal.”
A media briefing at the site of the exhibit is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, which will be followed by The Wall’s installation and subsequent 7 p.m. opening to the public; however, an official Welcome Ceremony is scheduled to commence at 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7.
At that ceremony, the Amarillo College Vocal Jazz Ensemble will present the premier performance of a new arrangement of the National Anthem, written by Nathan Fryml, AC’s director of choral activities.
“We feel very honored to have been asked to participate in the ceremony welcoming The Wall that Heals to Amarillo,” Fryml said. “Very few students at Amarillo College have had the opportunity to visit the Vietnam War Memorial in D.C., and the Wall's visit provides a powerful opportunity for these and other young people to connect with the thousands of men and women their own age who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam a few short decades ago.
“We are also grateful for the opportunity this gives us to honor the veterans of that war who live right here with us in Amarillo and the Panhandle,” he said.
Supporters of Amarillo visit by The Wall that Heals are: The Mary E. Bivins Foundation, WETA – Washington D.C., CNS Pantex, Happy State Bank, Xcel Energy, and Mary Emeny. The city of Amarillo is providing the site. Additional supporters are: UniFirst, Graymac, Inc., Rabern Rentals, A-1 Rocket, Raising Cane’s, Chick Fil-A on Georgia St., Pepsi, Rib Crib, Teddy Jack’s and Wal-Mart.
School/youth tours are available on Dec. 7 and 8, particularly for middle, high school, and college students. Students will learn about The Wall’s design, history and the Vietnam War itself. To schedule school/youth tours, or to learn more about Panhandle PBS’ Crossing the Divide: The Texas Panhandle Vietnam War Project, please contact Cullen Lutz at 806-371-5479 or email@example.com.
Wednesday, Dec. 6
The Wall’s arrival and installation by volunteers from CNS Pantex
7 p.m. – The Wall officially opens to the public, 24/7
Thursday, Dec. 7
4 p.m. – Welcome Ceremony – open to the public
Friday, Dec. 8
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. – Area organizations may leave Memorial Wreaths, not to exceed 18”, please
Saturday, Dec. 9
Sunday, Dec. 10
1 p.m. – Closing Ceremony – open to the public
2 p.m. – Wall closes
Wall deinstallation – by volunteers from Xcel Energy