COOKEVILLE-PUTNAM COUNTY, TENNESSEE TO HOST THE WALL THAT HEALS
The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, along with a mobile education center, will be in Cookeville-Putnam County, Tenn., April 19-22, 2018. As the only display in Tennessee, the exhibit is expected to welcome guests from across the Southeast, will be open 24 hours a day and is free to the public. The Wall That Heals honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War and bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
Cookeville-Putnam County will be among the first to host a new, larger exhibit which includes a three-quarter scale Wall replica that is 375-feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. With the new replica at this size, visitors will be able to experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in D.C. For the first time in the history of The Wall That Heals, visitors will be able to do name rubbings of individual service member's names on The Wall.
"We are honored to host this powerful exhibit in Tennessee as we remember each of these heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Gov. Bill Haslam said. “This is even more special for Tennessee, as the first Vietnam casualty is actually from this region. Spec James Thomas “Tom” Davis is buried less than 20 miles from where the Wall will be on display.”
Nine Putnam County residents are listed on the wall, and 65 from the Upper Cumberland region.
“This opportunity to host such a tribute to our veterans is something that the community in Putnam County will always take pride in,” said Putnam County Executive Randy Porter. “We are known as a patriotic community, making this a natural fit to have the honor of hosting and paying respects to our Vietnam veterans.”
“We invite guests to pay their respects at the Wall, but to also take advantage of the opportunities to fulfill their patriotic notions by visiting Spec Davis’ grave and other veterans memorial points-of-interest in the Upper Cumberland, such as Alvin C. York State Historic Park, Putnam and Jackson County Veterans' Halls, White County Veterans' Memorial Park, and Crossville's Military Memorial Museum,” said Porter.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in Washington, D.C., with more than 5.2 million visitors each year. However, many Americans have not been able to visit what has become known to many as "The Wall." The Wall That Heals made its debut in 1996 and since then has been on display in nearly 600 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005. Last year alone, more than 250,000 people visited The Wall That Heals. Hosting The Wall That Heals provides a community with a multi-day experience that includes an education for local schools and organizations on the history of the Vietnam era and The Wall.