The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., is returning to San Luis Obispo, making it the first city to host the massive memorial a second time.
The 375-foot-long wall will be open 24/7 at the Madonna Meadows from March 16-19. The wall features the names of the 58,000-plus service members who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.
When The Wall That Heals was here in March of 2018, more than 12,000 people from all over the state came to see it.
Bart Topham, Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum President and Director, says it’s a huge honor to bring it back to the Central Coast.
“It's important, particularly to Vietnam veterans and their families," Topham said. "There's a number of service men and women that gave their lives along the Central Coast. There are over 17,000 total veterans on the Central Coast, and our job is to remember and to serve all of those people. There's just going to be a lot there for people to take in and learn about it.”
An escort for the wall, starting at the San Miguel Mission and ending at Madonna Meadows, will be held March 14 starting at 10 a.m. About 300 motorcycles, along with other vehicles, are expected to participate.
“We're looking for volunteers to line the overpasses with flags to honor the wall as it travels south from the mission," said Chris Emert, San Luis Obispo County Veterans Services Office Administrative Services Officer. "It is a solemn procession. We don't want honking, we don't want screaming, shouting, yelling, cheering. It's just there to be a nice, solemn salute as it passes through those communities.”
The Wall That Heals will be open to the public 24 hours each day, and volunteers are needed to staff the site the entire time it’s here. Click here to find out how to volunteer.
There are also tours still available for groups of up to 100 people at a time.