FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) – People can now pay tribute to fallen heroes with a special memorial in Franklin. The Wall That Heals is a 375-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC and includes a mobile education center. It is open to the public 24-hours a day.
The Wall That Heals is open now until Sunday, June 6 at 2 p.m. at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. The address is 250 Fairground Street in Franklin.
The replica travels across the country to different communities each year and this is the only stop in Indiana in 2021.
The goal of The Wall That Heals, and the effort to bring it to Franklin, is to preserve the legacy of service in America, to honor the service of all; to preserve the memory of those who died during the war and since returning home; and to educate all generations about the lasting impact of the Vietnam War.
Several special events will take place at the memorial over the next few days:
- June 3 at 9:00 a.m. is a dedication ceremony with Lt. Gov Suzanne Crouch, who will be the keynote speaker.
- June 4 at 9:30 p.m. a candlelight ceremony will take place.
- June 5 at 1:30 p.m. will be an honor ceremony.
- June 6 at 2:00 p.m. the wall will begin the disassemble process and then move on to Harrison, Ohio.
The Wall That Heals Franklin’s Committee Chair, Kathy Ballou, was in school when she became pen pals with a soldier serving in Vietnam. When the soldier stopped writing, she assumed he got out of the Army or was assigned to another location. It wasn’t until she went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and saw the soldier’s name on the memorial wall that she realized he had died in the war. Once Ballou found out about The Wall That Heals, she knew she wanted to bring it to Franklin.
The Wall That Heals is open to the public, for free. However, local group raised $6,000 to help bring it to Indiana and is looking for more donations to reach a $10,000 goal.
People interested in making donations or volunteering to help this initiative can find out more information on the website or contact Ballou at 317-513-4566.