July 4- July 7th
Randall Oaks Park ~ West Dundee
The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to West Dundee at Randall Oaks Park and will be open 24 hours a day and free to the public.
The Wall That Heals honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War and it bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
West Dundee is one of 34 communities chosen to host The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Carpentersville/Dundee American Legion Post 679 was one of about 100 groups nationwide that applied to take part in the 2019 tour, which begins Feb. 28 in San Antonio, according to a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund news release.
The post is excited to bring the memorial to West Dundee’s Randall Oaks Park, said Jerry Christopherson, president of the Elgin
-based True Patriots Care organization, which lobbied on the post’s behalf.
“Especially with Vietnam veterans, there was so much unrest about the war and when these guys came home it wasn’t at all like it is now, where people shake their hands and buy their lunches,” Christopherson said. “There was none of that. Many were spit on.”
“VVMF is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals to West Dundee to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to visit and honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed,” Jim Knotts, president and CEO of memorial fun, said in a news release.
“We hope it provides an opportunity for healing and an educational experience for the whole community on the impact of the Vietnam War on America.”
The exhibit honors the more than 3 million Americans who served in the military during the war and bears the names of the more than 58,000 people who were killed.
Like the original memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a chevron-shape and visitors are able to do rubbings of individual service member’s names, according to the memorial fund. It’s constructed of Avonite, a synthetic granite, and its 144 individual panels are supported by an aluminum frame and illuminated by LED lighting.
The 53-foot trailer that transports the memorial also serves as a mobile education center for visitors, featuring photo and video displays, a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the war.
Christopherson plans to arrange a motorcycle escort when the exhibit comes to town July 2. Assembly begins July 3.
“We’re honored to be able to partner with this,” said Dave Peterson, executive director of the Dundee Township Park District. “It sounds spectacular and looks really neat. It’s a good thing for this community and we’re honored to be able to host it at one of our parks.”
The West Dundee exhibit will be open 24 hours a day for visitors.
The traveling memorial made its debut in 1996, has been displayed in more than 500 U.S. communities and toured Ireland and Canada.