The Wall That Heals exhibit, honoring Vietnam War veterans, will be on display to the public during the 2015 Florida RV SuperShow, January 14-18 at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. According to press release, the exhibit is a 250-foot replica of the original memorial in Washington, D.C., that travels across America.
“The Wall That Heals transcends the Vietnam War to help our great nation renew its relationship with veterans of all wars,” said Jan C. Scruggs, founder and president of VVMF. “It helps veterans from all of America’s conflicts to find healing and a powerful connection through their common military experiences.”
Each of the aluminum replica’s two wings is approximately 123 feet long and meet at an angle of 121 degrees, rising to a height of approximately five feet at its apex. Each name is laser etched into panels of reflective black, powder-coated heavy aluminum supported by a structural aluminum frame.
A database of names and their precise arrangement on The Wall was created to engrave the panels. The database was then linked to a computer-operated laser system developed solely for the purpose of engraving The Wall That Heals. The system etched image areas of a specific size, requiring remarkably precise calibration across a wide field to match partially formed letters and lines.
The names on The Wall That Heals replicate the names on The Wall in Washington, D.C. As on The Wall, the names are listed alphabetically by day of casualty. Beginning at the center/apex, the names start on the East Wall (right-hand side) working their way out to the end of that wing, picking up again at the far end of the West Wall (left-hand side) and working their way back in to the center/apex. Thus, the beginning and ending of the conflict are joined at the center, signifying an epoch in American history.
The Wall That Heals is transported from community to community by a 53-foot, fifth-wheel trailer with cases built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a museum that tells the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history. The exhibition is sponsored by Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Trust, Federal Express, Geico, AON Corporation, and New Century Transportation.