By ZEINAB NAJM
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW — Volunteers are needed for the The Walls that Heals which will be in Riverview from Aug. 12 to 15. Various options for volunteer opportunities are available for those interested to sign up.
Parks and Recreation Director Todd Dickman explained the need for volunteers during July 12 a city council study session.
“Hopefully people can come out and view the wall, but the one thing we do need right now is, we still need a good amount of volunteers,” Dickman said. “So, if people can help out over that weekend to be an ambassador at the wall, which would be helping people find names, helping out them information with the wall and maybe even a little bit of assistance getting to and from the wall.”
City Manager Douglas Drysdale added that the said route was approved that day and will be shared with the public. The Wall that Heals is a three-quarter-size traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall that is located in Washington, D.C., according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website.
The wall be escorted into Riverview on Aug. 10 starting about 45 minutes to an hour from the city to Young Patriot’s Park, 14133 Civic Park Drive. The city is seeking 200 to 400 bikers to help escort the wall to its final destination, the city’s website said.
The replica wall is 375-feet in length and stands 7.5-feet high at its tallest point, featuring the wall rising above visitors as they walk toward the apex — which is a key feature of the design of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the VVMF website said.
First unveiled on Veterans Day in 1996 by the VVMF, the wall replica was designed to travel to communities and has been displayed at nearly 700 communities throughout the county since its dedication.
“Like the original Memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a chevron-shape and visitors can do name rubbings of individual service member’s names on The Wall,” according to the VVMF website. “The replica is constructed of Avonite, a synthetic granite, and its 140 numbered panels are supported by an aluminum frame. Machine engraving of the more than 58,000 names along with modern LED lighting provide readability of The Wall day and night.”
A 53-foot trailer carries the wall and transforms to become a mobile Education Center with a timeline of the Vietnam War and The Wall on the exterior and provides additional information about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., the VVMF website said.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])