Hurricane City Council voices support for Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica coming to city

Visitors learn about The Wall That Heals, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Wall That Heals may be coming to Hurricane, Utah, in 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, St. George News

HURRICANE — A 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., could be coming to Southern Utah in 2020.

Dan Greathouse, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Southern Utah Chapter 961, presents his plan to bring The Wall That Heals, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to Southern Utah to the Hurricane City Council in Hurricane, Utah, Nov. 15, 2018 | Photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News

The Wall That Heals is a traveling half-scale model of the real memorial, but even though it’s half the size, it still includes all of the over 58,000 names of the American service members believed to have lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

Though no official action was made yet to approve the wall coming to Hurricane for four days in 2020, the City Council voiced its support for the plan.

A similar wall has been in Southern Utah five times since 2007; the last time it was erected in Southern Utah was in Washington City in 2017, but the one coming in 2020 is a new wall made out of lightweight fiberglass instead of aluminum, said Dan Greathouse, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Southern Utah Chapter 961.

Read more: Traveling Vietnam Memorial creates sacred place of healing for veterans

“It’s very important that this wall is coming here because many people in this area won’t have the chance to make it out to the one in Washington, D.C.,” Greathouse told St. George News.

It will cost $10,000 to bring The Wall That Heals to Hurricane, which Greathouse said will be funded by donations to the Vietnam Veterans of America Southern Utah Chapter 961.

The wall will come in pieces in a semitractor-trailer before about 100 volunteers will be needed to help assemble it on the grass, he said. It would be placed in the grass field outside of the Hurricane Community Center on 100 West.

Vietnam Navy veteran Craig Dickason watches as the colors are posted during an opening ceremony for the Wall That Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington City, Utah, March 16, 2017 | File photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Members of the Hurricane City Council voiced support of Greathouse’s plan to close part of 100 West in Hurricane for the days the wall would be displayed to allow a location for the semitrailer to park.

On the side of the semitrailer, there’s museum-like information about the Vietnam War and the service members who died, Greathouse said.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” Hurricane councilwoman Pam Humphries said about the plan to place the wall in Hurricane. “I’ve seen the one back east. It’s moving.”

While no exact date for the wall has been set, Greathouse said it would most likely be in April or October of 2020.

With the location of the wall in Hurricane being close to a major thoroughfare for tourists between St. George and Zion National Park, Greathouse estimated 10,000-15,000 people would be able to see the wall. It will also be used as an educational tool for schools in the area, he said.

“A lot of (veterans) just stand out there in the road and never get near because they can’t,” Greathouse said. “Some of them may have the courage to go up to this wall for the first time.”

Those who would like to get involved with bringing The Wall That Heals to Southern Utah can contact Greathouse at [email protected].

Email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • NickDanger November 16, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Soldiers have never fought an unjust war.

    Soldiers all fight for different reasons. For some it’s family honor, for others patriotism, for others, a sense of the physically strong standing up for the physically weak. There are soldiers who are there because they just weren’t doing anything constructive with their lives, and figured they may as well make something useful of themselves. And of course in Vietnam, there were also soldiers who didn’t want to be there at all, but didn’t wimp out when called on by their country to do their duty. All our boys had solid reasons for being there.

    Only our politicians are answerable for the purpose behind it all, and I suppose in the big picture, a democratic South Vietnam is something to have. Whether it was worth so many American lives is another question.

    Vietnam veterans got pretty shoddy treatment for a long time after that very controversial war. It’s good to see them honored, and that seems to be the current norm, though frankly it seems too little too late.

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