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September 23, 2020
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The “Healing Wall” comes to Sonoma County

  • Morris Dodge touched the wall in awe as Vietnam Veteran Lewis Wall reflected after having taken a picture. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Irene Hilsendager
April 5, 2019

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall pays tribute to the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who fought in the devastating Vietnam War and were killed or missing in action.

The memorial consists of three separate parts: The Three Soldiers, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall soundly known as the Wall That Heals, a replica of which was set up last week at Wilson Ranch Soccer Park in Windsor.

Having seen the large wall in Washington D.C. last Oct. and watching veterans and others leaning against the wall and sobbing was very disturbing. Friends were lost in Vietnam, young men and women never getting to live a full life of marriage, children and not ever getting to see careers, grandchildren and life in general.

The day spent at the National Mall in Washington D.C. was a very rainy and chilly time. Watching each person leaving the memorial wall was heart wrenching with bitterness against enemies and politicians. Promises were made it would never happen again, but how many more times must our men and women get sent overseas to fight a war that shouldn’t be necessary? 

One of the nation’s most poignant war memorials is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. When visiting the wall, you can see it is made up of two identical walls which stretch to over 246 feet and has listed over 58,000 names.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a three quarter scale replica that travels and fortunately stopped at Windsor. A small ceremony was held and school tours were given.

The 144 panels are set into a black aluminum frame and are seven and a half feet high. Many volunteers helped to assemble the Wall That Heals, A total of $8.4 million was raised to establish the wall in D.C. The replica wall was started in 1996 and has been driven across the U.S. in a 53-foot trailer. A Veteran Administration statistic states that from a 2016 list that there are over 7.3 millions of Gulf War vets, WWII shows over 624,000 and 6.7 million living veterans are of the Vietnam time period.

The Vietnam ceremony was held Sat. with many people attending. The wall was open to the public but Sun. March 31 was the final viewing.

Is the healing wall a tribute? Yes, it is, but has it taught anyone anything? The old saying of history repeats itself should be a lesson to all, but I guess the U.S. hasn’t learned a thing about war. We keep getting into wars that are so unnecessary.

In Washington D.C. just south of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and celebrates the 265,000 women that served in the Vietnam War. Many were nurses. How often do we even think of women being in the Vietnam War? It brings tears when you see the structure depicting three women attending to a wounded soldier, reflecting the unity required during this terrible conflict.