The Wall That Heals Comes to Burnsville
Vietnam Wall Replica Here Until Sunday, Oct 15
The Wall remembers and honors the nearly 58,000 American soldiers we lost in Vietnam, including Yancey County resident Jerry Robinson who became a casualty of war in 1967.
The Wall That Heals, a 250-ft long replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC is on display at Mountain Heritage High School thru Sunday afternoon, October 15. The traveling exhibit also features a mobile education center, Gold Star motorcycle with 75 names inscribed on it, and photographs of local soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam. Burnsville is the only town in North Carolina to host the exhibit in 2017. The Wall is lighted at night, and open 24 hours a day.
The Wall has East and West sides, each divided into numbered panels. The directory at the education center provides information to find the names of loved ones. This traveling version of The Wall is made of lightweight metal rather than granite, and is about half the size of the actual Memorial Wall in Washington, which has soldiers’ names etched in the granite so people can feel the letters and make pencil rubbings of the names.
We Will Always Honor Their Sacrifice
The exhibit features pictures of local soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. Casualties from Yancey County: Howard Calvin Blevins, Samuel T. Carroll, Jr, Johnny Wayne Ogle, James Leonard Ray, Jerry Alvin Robinson. These men would be in their 60s and 70s today.
Mobile Education Center
School groups from Yancey, Mitchell, Madison and Avery Counties will tour the exhibit during its 4-day stay in Burnsville. The Wall That Heals was brought here by Yancey County Schools, a project headed by Superintendent Dr. Tony Tipton, and assisted in coordinating by Taube Roy, a JROTC teacher at Mountain Heritage and an Army veteran. The visit to Burnsville comes just after the September premiere of The Vietnam War documentary series on national public television, produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The exhibit will travel to 38 cities and towns in 2017. Since its debut in 1996, The Wall That Heals has visited more than 500 communities. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened in Washington, DC in 1982.
Walking along The Wall at Mountain Heritage High School and seeing the names of 58,000 Americans, many just out of high school themselves, reminds us what a devastating war Vietnam was, and why it’s so important to honor the soldiers who died… and the soldiers who lived.