Vietnam War memorial replica makes hallowed entrance, offers healing; STGnews Videocast

WASHINGTON CITY – They call it “The Wall That Heals,” a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial that stands in our nation’s capital paying tribute to the thousands of men and women who gave their lives in the Vietnam War; Thursday through Sunday it will be on display at Zion Harley Davidson, 2345 N. Coral Canyon Blvd. in Washington.

Vietnam veteran Ron Lewis pauses at "The Wall That Heals" to tell a personal story, Washington City, Utah, March 11, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Vietnam veteran Ron Lewis pauses at “The Wall That Heals” to tell a personal story, Washington City, Utah, March 11, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Wednesday, the Patriot Guard Riders, met the traveling exhibition – that has been all over the country and the world – in Page, Arizona, and escorted the semitrailer carrying the hallowed wall to its home for the next four days.

Veterans, their families and the greater community are encouraged to come pay tribute to the fallen and hopefully find peace and healing in the “comfort of a familiar surrounding,” a press release statement said.

The wall made its final approach in revered style, escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders and law enforcement officers from Washington County, Hurricane and Washington cities.

“This is a special event for veterans, especially Vietnam vets,” Patriot Guard member JR Lemkuhl said. “It is a chance to look back, become emotional and leave feeling better, as if you visited your mother’s grave site, talked to her for a while. When one does that, they leave feeling better.”

For many veterans it is difficult to face the wall where so many of their fallen comrades’ names are written and their own are not, Vietnam veteran and president of the Southern Utah Chapter 961 Dan Greathouse said.

"The Wall That Heals" arrives at Zion Harley Davidson escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Southern Utah Chapter 961, Washington City, Utah, March 11, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
“The Wall That Heals” arrives at Zion Harley Davidson escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Southern Utah Chapter 961, Washington City, Utah, March 11, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

“We have no answers,” Greathouse said, “and this is why we come to see the wall.”

The replica was designed and created to provide a way for the community beyond the District of Columbia to be able to see it without having to travel that far, Greathouse said; and, according to the press release, to offer veterans a way to find the strength and courage to “do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.”

“For me, being stationed in Washington, D.C. for three years, I visited the wall a few times,” Lemkuhl said. “There is a very powerful feeling that overcame me. I felt small. Quiet. I witnessed pain. I saw pictures and trinkets left for loved ones. For me, it is that same grave site times 10.”

There are over 58,000 names engraved on the wall, Greathouse said, and each time a person missing in action is found, they are added to the wall.

"The Wall That Heals" arrives at Zion Harley Davidson, Washington City, Utah, March 11, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
“The Wall That Heals” arrives at Zion Harley Davidson, Washington City, Utah, March 11, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Over 1,600 American soldiers are still unaccounted for, Ron Lewis, a Vietnam veteran from New Harmony, said. Lewis has dedicated his life to making sure that no American that lost their life and was never recovered is forgotten.

“The Wall That Heals” will be on display from Thursday through Sunday and will be open 24 hours a day for those who want to face the wall alone. Security will be on hand during the late night and early morning hours and the lights in the parking lot will be turned on.

In addition to the wall, counseling services from the St. George Vet Center will be provided, and a tent dedicated to prisoners of war and those missing in action will be set up.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Event recap

  • What: The Wall That Heals scale replica of the Vietnam War memorial
  • When: Thursday-Sunday, March 12-15, 24 hours a day
  • Where: Zion Harley Davidson, 2345 N. Coral Canyon Blvd., Washington City
  • Cost: Free

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4 Comments

  • starboss March 11, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    The Patriot Guard Riders of Southern Utah did, in fact, participate in the escort of The Wall That Heals but there were also a large number of riders from Southern Utah Harley Owners Group, The Patriots Motorcycle Club, The American Legion Riders, The Vietnam Veterans of America , The Destrelos, and a bunch of other nomads and private riders. I know Ms, Regina didn’t intend to overstate one groups participation and overlook others’ but this was a coalition of veteran as well as non-veteran supporters. The escort was a masterfus work of cooperation, courtesy, selflessness, and respect by a diverse group of Americans! I was honored and proud to be a part of the tribute.

  • Floyd March 12, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I believe Hollie Reina to be a very accomplished journalist and writes what is reported to her. Starboss you are correct in your analysis of the escort. I am sorry that JR had to refine the real credits to reflect it was his group that did the escorting. Clearly it was a way to showboat once again and a disrespect to the rest of us and especially our Brothers and Sisters we all escorted to our home. The Patriot Guard is a well respected organization. They bring closer for many Families and there Veteran. Thank you Danny Greathouse for your accurate comments to Hollie Reina. The Law Enforcement did a most magnificent job in escorting from Page AZ on into Utah to Washington County Zion Harley Davidson. I might remind JR that the lead including The Missing Man Formation were Vietnam
    Combat In Country Veterans with multiple names on The Wall. It was a masterful maneuver by all Veterans, Veterans Organizations, Families, and Friends across AZ,UT State Lines with full cooperation of all State and Local Law Enforcement without incident. I am also a Proud Vietnam Combat Veteran at times with tears in my eyes of so many veterans and Towns people respecting the 24 Brothers I know on the Wall along with the 58,000++ of Brothers and Sisters. Welcome Home to you all. I know you all are at peace. Someday I will join your ranks with Honor. “Mitakuye Oyasin”

  • Car4sale March 14, 2015 at 9:19 am

    As a Vietnam Vet I have no interest in seeing this and Veterans Day means nothing to me. I defended a government that turned their back on us and sold us out. I don’t ask the government for anything and I don’t want anything from the VA either and I’m not interested in a military funeral.. enjoy the koolaid. You’re the one drinking it and don’t bother coming back at me with. Desert Storm this and that and you’re not the only one so on and so on. It doesn’t change anything.. now go back to drinking the your koolaid

    • Debbie March 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm

      To Mr. CARFORSALE….I’m sending you a quarter, call someone who cares! OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN…AND MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS ALL OUR THEN AND NOW MILITARY FOR THE FREEDOM WE LIVE IN EVERYDAY. THANK YOU!

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