The Wall That Heals, the half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., will visit Columbus next week.
The wall will be on the grounds of the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road, and open to the public from 9 a.m. April 4 until 5 p.m. April 7.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the organization that built and now operates the memorial site in Washington, created the The Wall That Heals, which has been touring the country and visited more than 350 locations since 1996. It was designed to bring the memorial's essence to veterans, families and citizens who cannot make the trip to Washington to see the original.
A mobile museum will accompany the wall's visit to Columbus. The museum contains photos of honored service members, memorabilia left at the Washington site and a chronology of the Vietnam War. An information center will enable visitors to find names on the wall and do other research about the war.
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At approximately 4 p.m. April 2, The Wall That Heals is scheduled to arrive in Columbus on a truck. The Southern Cruisers Riding Club and law enforcement representatives from Troup, Harris and Muscogee counties will be on motorcycles to escort the wall, departing from the LaGrange area weigh station on I-185 at approximately 3 p.m. The convoy will take Exit 6 onto Macon Road to arrive at the library.
A welcome ceremony and memorial service will be 9 a.m. April 4 at the library. Speakers will include representatives from Fort Benning, the Columbus Consolidated Government and the religious community.
The visit by The Wall That Heals will culminate the local edition of The Big Read this year. The Big Read encourages a community to read one book during a monthlong series of programs and events. The book for this year's celebration has been "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien, retelling his experience during the Vietnam War.
The Big Read in Columbus has been presented by the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, Columbus State University and the Muscogee County Friends of Libraries, with media sponsorship from Sunny 100 and WLTZ-38. Columbus is one of 78 cities nationwide to receive a national grant and to host The Big Read.LEARN MORE
For more information about The Wall That Heals, click on the link attached to this story at www.ledger-enquirer.com.