INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Wall That Heals will open Thursday in Greenfield and stay until Sunday afternoon.
The wall is a traveling three-quarters-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
It has been almost 50 years since the Vietnam War ended. The unpopular war ran from Nov. 1, 1955-April 30, 1975. Memories are fading.
Bob Workman, the commander of the Greenfield Veterans Honor Guard and a Marine Corps veteran of Vietnam, said, “It brings a lot of closure to (a) lot of people. You get a lot of people that cant make it (to) D.C. that haven’t seen the wall and don’t know really what the wall is about.”
Doug Good, the chaplain for the Honor Guard, said he was drafted into the service in 1968. “In my opinion, it should say ‘war’ not ‘conflict,’ because it was a war. It really was.”
There is one name on the wall with special meaning to Good: a family friend who was killed in the war.
“I guess the one that stands out in my mind is when a very, very good friend of my older brother’s was killed in Vietnam — he was in the Marines — and that is when it became a reality to me and that was in ’66, ’65. I forget what year it was,” Good said.
An estimated 3 million Americans served in Vietnam. Eleven from Hancock County did not come home and, according to Workman, having this traveling wall in Greenfield will help close some wounds.
He said the names are placed on the wall by the date of the causality.
“You can go to a date that you can remember in history, a date of a battle you were in, and you can go to that day and find the exact people that you helped carry out or were killed that day,” Workman said.
Stillinger Family Funeral Home in Greenfield, 1780 W. Main St. (U.S. 40), just west of downtown, is hosting the replica wall. It will open to the public at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and remain open day and night until 2 p.m. Sunday.
A Back Home Again ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Saturday. The ceremony will include the singing of the national anthem and “Amazing Grace” as well as a message from the featured speaker, U.S. Rep. Jim Baird. The Indiana Republican is an Army veteran of the Vietnam War.
A closing ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Sunday. The schedule calls for the colors to be retired and a moment of silence to be conducted. However, the public can still visit The Wall That Heals until 2 p.m. Sunday when it closes.
The Wall That Heals will return to Indiana in South Bend in September.
A wall replica also came to Greenfield in 2005. That was a half-scale replica.