October 31, 2017
The Wall That Heals Coming to the Oklahoma History Center
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center (OHC) is preparing to host The Wall That Heals (TWTH), a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., from November 8–12.
The Wall That Heals will arrive at the OHC on Wednesday, November 8, at 11 a.m. escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders and Oklahoma Highway Patrol. A number of Oklahoma City veterans groups will welcome it to the OHC campus. The Oklahoma City Fire Department will provide two hook and ladder trucks that will have a 50-foot American flag suspended between them under which the TWTH caravan will proceed. TWTH will be constructed that day and will remain open to the public free of charge 24 hours a day until 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 12. This will be the first time The Wall That Heals has been displayed in the Oklahoma State Capitol Complex.
On Thursday, November 9, at 11 a.m. there will be a formal opening ceremony for TWTH. The 145th Oklahoma National Guard Band will provide music for the event, and Rear Admiral Greg Slavonic (USN Ret.), chief of staff for Senator James Lankford, will be the featured speaker. The event is free and open to the public.
Created by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and introduced on Veterans Day in 1996, TWTH has been displayed in more than 400 cities and towns across the United States. The primary purpose of TWTH is to allow the friends and family of the more than 58,000 names inscribed on it to honor them and remember the sacrifice that each made to a grateful nation. So many returning veterans were not given the “Welcome Home” that occurred with previous wars and conflicts in which the nation was involved. The healing that so many veterans and their families need can start by visiting this structure in their own communities.
TWTH is approximately 250 feet in length, and like the original memorial is erected in a chevron-shape. The replica is constructed of powder-coated aluminum supported by an aluminum frame, and is made up of 24 individual panels. In addition to the structure itself is the Mobile Education Center, which displays pictures of various service members listed on TWTH as well as letters and other memorabilia that have been left at the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.