'The Wall That Heals' Coming to Paducah in 3 Weeks
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - If you haven't been to the Vietnam Veteran's War Memorial in Washington, D.C., you may want to visit an upcoming exhibit in Paducah.

"The Wall That Heals," a three-quarter sized traveling replica of the memorial, will be in Paducah's Carson Park on October 25-28. It typically visits about 40 towns each year.

The wall honors more than 3 million Americans who served during the Vietnam War and bears the names of over 58,000 men and women who gave their lives. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund has taken the replica to over 400 communities since 1996, but the one that will visit our area has only been touring the country since earlier this year and hasn't yet been anywhere in Kentucky. 

Mary Beth Orr of Milner and Orr Funeral Home told West Kentucky Star they submitted three different requests before the VVMF agreed to come to Paducah. Orr said they wanted to bring, "The Wall That Heals," to the area because its purpose is similar to that of their business.

"We feel that part of our daily mission here at Milner and Orr is to honor lives, and what better way to honor the lives of those who served our country in the Vietnam War?" Orr said. 

The wall is almost 400 feet long and almost 8 feet tall. Orr describes one feature of the exhibit that she expects to be well-received by visitors.

Orr said, "You can actually put a piece of paper up and do a rubbing of a particular name. So, it's not a flat wall, all of the names are engraved into the surface."

Similar rubbings are often made at the permanent memorial in the nation's capitol. 

There is no admission cost, and the wall will be available for viewing anytime day or night while in Paducah. The truck that hauls the wall also opens up to become an educational kiosk, listing names of area veterans and where their names are engraved on the wall. There are also video displays teaching about the impact of the wall and showing some of the numerous items that have been left at the permanent monument. There are also educational exhibits about the country of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the war. 

Orr said 43 people from our region are engraved on the wall. The funeral home is requesting that any Gold Star Families contact them at 270-442-5100 so they may receive a special invitation to see the wall. Orr said they have also connected with local veterans groups so as many people as possible can be informed about the three-day exhibition.

Special events include:

Tuesday, October 24 at 2:30 pm - Escorted arrival at Carson Park
Thursday, October 25 at 12:01 am - "The Wall That Heals" opens to the public
Thursday, October 25 at 6 pm - Opening ceremony. Welcome to anyone, including veterans and Gold Star Families. 
Friday, October 26 at 6 pm - Wreath Laying Ceremony
Sunday, October 28 at 2:30 pm - Closing Ceremony

For more information about the event, or about the possibility of volunteering during the exhibition, call Milner and Orr Funeral Home at 270-442-5100 or visit the event Facebook page at the link below.

On the Net:

The Wall that Heals Western KY Facebook Page

Published 07:03 AM, Thursday Oct. 04, 2018
Updated 09:14 PM, Thursday Oct. 04, 2018

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