JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
On a cool, rainy morning at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery Feb. 28, dozens of Vietnam War-era veterans, their families and many others turned out to pay tribute to those who never came home.
The Daughters of the American Revolution’s Alamo Chapter hosted “The Wall That Heals,” a traveling representation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, at the cemetery Feb. 28 through March 3.
The exhibit featured a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., with the names of more than 58,000 men and women who died in that war. The display also has a mobile education center that gives visitors a better understanding of the legacy of the Wall and educates about the impact of the Vietnam War.
Bringing “The Wall That Heals” home to communities throughout our country allows the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist once more among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings, according the wall’s website.
The traveling exhibit also provided thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing the original wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.
Checking out the display Feb. 28 were a number of junior ROTC students from local high schools.
“I think it’s important for these kids to come out and see this. It instills patriotism in the youth of today,” said Tim Tetz, site manager for The Wall That Heals. “They should know the sacrifices that have been made by those who have come before us and paid the ultimate price.”
San Antonio was the first stop on a tour which will take “The Wall That Heals” to 34 communities throughout the United States in 2019, ending in Columbia, Mississippi, in November.
The replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. Visitors experience it rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of the original wall in Washington, D.C.