By Aaron Keebaugh
Plans to bring a mobile version of the Vietnam veterans memorial wall to Revere this summer are slowly coming to fruition, the memorial committee chairman Nick Bua said Tuesday. But more work still needs to be done, he noted.
“The Wall That Heals,” a half-size replica of The Wall (as it is called), is scheduled to display at the Beachmont VFW from June 13–16, 2013.
But it costs $5,000 alone just to bring the 250 ft. aluminum-coated wall to the city. “The Wall That Heals” committee, composed of city officials and volunteers around Revere, has already received donations to fund the transport. The Vietnam Veterans Association Chapter 908 from Lynn donated $200, and the State Department Vietnam Veterans Association donated $1,000, according to minutes from the committee’s January 10 meeting.
The Beachmont VFW itself donated $500, Bua said Tuesday. To solicit further financial support, the committee has sent out letters to numerous VFWs and American Legions in the area.
But there will be a host of extra expenses to cover miscellaneous items, such as food for the four-day event and money for the people who transport the wall to town. In addition, the committee is working to obtain a hotel room, through donation, to house the people who will bring the wall, Bua said.
“We’re moving forward [but] we need as much help as possible,” he continued.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the DC nonprofit group organized to construct The Wall in 1982, unveiled “The Wall That Heals” on Veterans Day, 1996. Since then, the mobile version has traveled to more than 350 communities in the US. “The traveling exhibit… allows the many thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin,” according to the VVMF website.
A mobile museum exhibit, carried in the trailer that transports “The Wall That Heals,”will accompany the mobile monument. It contains a map of Vietnam, a chronological history of the Vietnam conflict, and letters and other memorabilia left over the years by observers at the original DC memorial. “The Exhibits tell the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall, and the era surrounding the conflict, and are designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context,” the website states.
City officials have pledged their support to bring the memorial to Revere, Bua said, adding that the police department will help out with security for the June event.
“We support the vets in any way possible,” Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli said in a text message Tuesday. “As a vet myself, it is a cause that’s dear to my heart.”
The committee will hold its next meeting at the Beachmont VFW February 21.