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