‘The Wall That Heals’ Coming to UCM Campus in Late June
The Vietnam Memorial - The Wall That Heals - is coming to the University of Central Missouri campus, in Warrensburg, at the end of June.
The free exhibit is open to the public along with a number of other opportunities planned, in conjunction with the event. The events range from an advance preview of a new Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary about the war, to a special memorial service recognizing local veterans whose names are on the wall, to a Veterans Stand-Down and exhibition at UCM’s McClure Archives and University Museum.
According to a press release from UCM, The Wall that Heals is approximately 250 feet long, and is described as a mobile half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (often called The Wall) in Washington, D.C. It is a program of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and includes a mobile Education Center, providing more information about the Vietnam War, as well as photos of service members whose names are on The Wall, a timeline of the Vietnam era, and letters and memorabilia left at The Wall in Washington D.C.
The McClure Archives and University Museum was awarded the opportunity to host The Wall That Heals as part of the traveling exhibit’s 2017 schedule. The display will located on the west side of the library, and will be open 24 hours a day, while it is at UCM.
The display will open at 7:30 a.m. beginning June 29th, and will close at 3 p.m. on July 2nd.
The Wall That Heals includes the names of more than 58,000 service members who died or remain missing from their military service in the Vietnam War. Their names, which include 10 people from Johnson County, are listed along the display, by day of casualty.
The University of Central Missouri is also playing a role in gathering and sharing veterans’ stories, leading up to the nation’s 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War in 2025.
Amber Clifford-Napoleone, associate professor of anthropology and director of the McClure Archives and University Museum said, "For much of the American public, the Vietnam War is not a historical fact, it is a recent memory and a life-altering event. Vietnam changed America’s civic and political fabric, and its lasting impact is still felt."
The first of the special events associated with The Wall That Heals is an opening ceremony that begins at 7:30 a.m. on June 29th, at the Kirkpatrick Library front lawn. At 6 p.m. in the Alumni memorial Chapel, there will be a special memorial service commemorating the Vietnam War. It will honor those who served and their families, and recognize local veterans whose names are on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Officiating will be Col. Gary Gilmore, senior Army chaplain with the Missouri Army National Guard.
The doors will open at 6 p.m. on June 30th in Twomey Auditorium in the Wood Building, for an advance preview of Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s documentary, “The Vietnam War,” as well as a panel discussion featuring local Vietnam War veterans and civilian workers. KMOS-TV is hosting this part of the event. It is one segment within a 10-part documentary that the KMOS will air in September, telling the story of the Vietnam War through firsthand accounts and testimony from nearly 100 witnesses. The documentary features many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.
The Veterans Stand-Down is planned for 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on July 1st, in the ballroom of the Elliott Student Union. Veterans’ organizations, health services representatives, and medical professionals will offer free assistance to veterans. Participants are encouraged to bring their DD Form 214.
Throughout the four-day event, the McClure Archives and Museum exhibition, “Commemoration,” will be open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the library. This event will feature the stories of local military veterans, who were interviewed by UCM students, as well as memorabilia from local veterans.
For more information, visit ucmo.edu/archmusm, or call 660-543-4649.