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May 31

The Wall That Heals serves as mindful precursor to Independence Day celebrations

Posted on May 31, 2018 at 2:23 PM by Michael Goens

The Wall That Heals rises to 7½ feet at its peak. The impact it leaves reaches the exosphere.

A reproduced version of The Wall That Heals made a March debut near Corpus Christi, Texas. Fifteen stops later, and TWTH will set up in Wamego (June 14-17) via stops at Newton, Iowa, and Claremore, Okla.

What an amazing and moving tribute not only to the 58,318 men and women whose names appear on the memorial, but alike to Vietnam veterans and all active duty/retired soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. From Fort Riley in late 1965, the 1st Infantry Division deployed to the region as 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment participated in the Ia Drang Valley Campaign. This was the first major battle between the U.S. Army and North Vietnam in a war that prolonged for another 9½ years.

What an amazing opportunity, too, for Manhattan visitors in mid-June, one week prior to Country Stampede. Wall visitors have most of the June 16-17 weekend to experience TWTH, a mobile version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Along with magnificent Veterans Day observations in November, northeast Kansas also pays mighty tribute to America’s independence with fantastic celebrations in Junction City and Wamego. Three weeks ahead of July 4, The Wall That Heals builds a weighty springboard to Independence Day activities, with sobering acknowledgement of a dark period in U.S. history juxtaposed against the 242nd commemoration of independence.
The Wall That Heals tour stops in Wamego, June 14-17

The Wall That Heals has traveled for 22 years and Wamego joins a list of 600 host communities when the three-quarter-sized replica inhabits City Park, open 24 hours/day for this Wamego stay. Visitors may access the park ahead of 10 a.m. June 14 opening ceremonies. The 375-foot wall is supported by an aluminum frame, and the Avonite synthetic graphite will allow “name rubbings” of individual service members listed on The Wall (a first for the replica). In 2017, more than a quarter-million people visited the scaled model of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (5 million annual Washington, D.C. visitors).

A 53-foot trailer doubles as Wall transporter and mobile Education Center when it arrives in Wamego on June 13. Education Center displays include “Hometown Heroes” digital photos, historical videos about The Wall’s impact and collection of items distributed at the D.C. memorial. The trailer itself opens up to display these exhibits.

“The mobile Education Center is prototypical of the future Education Center at The Wall,” reads information from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. VVMF has a dedicated fundraising campaign to build an Education Center as an interactive learning facility on the National Mall in Washington.

Wamego is one of 38 stops for TWTH’s 2018 tour, and the only location in Kansas with no scheduled visits for Colorado or Nebraska. Plan your trip to Manhattan to commence with The Wall That Heals and stay around for June 21-23 Stampede and Fourth of July celebrations. Plan for water activities at Tuttle Creek State Park and Milford Lake and hikes at Konza Prairie and along the Kansas River Trail.

Photo credit: Visit Wamego

Work in rounds of golf at Colbert Hills, Stagg Hill and Rolling Meadows, and you’ve got a great 20-day stay arranged. Pop out to Sunset Zoo for Father's Day activity (dad's free with paid child admission) and take the kids to Flint Hills Discovery Center's Be The Dinosaur exhibit.

School’s out! Add a dose of Manhappiness to your summer schedule.

The Wall That Heals   Vietnam Veterans Memorial   Manhattan trails   Outdoor activities   Kicker Country Stampede   Celebrate Freedom   Sundown Salute


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