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Wall that Heals

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The Geneva Accords temporarily divided Vietnam into two parts: North and South Vietnam. This was an attempt made by the French to accept the end of their colonial rule in Vietnam; however, the division of Vietnam at the 17th parallel ignited a gruesome 20-year conflict that began in 1955.

During the Cold War the United States became consumed with preventing nations from falling to communism. The United States involvement in the Vietnam War was a result of this fear of communism. This fear caused Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson to escalate the war in Vietnam. According to Vietnam Statistics, “9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era  from Aug.  5, 1964, through May 7, 1975.” This number is astounding especially considering many Americans were unaware of reasons for America’s involvement.  

The Vietnam War took 58,220 American lives. Since the Vietnam War impacted so many lives, a memorial was established in Washington. This memorial was designed by Maya Lin after her design was picked by panel of designers and artists. Although loved by many, some controversy followed Maya Lin’s design. “Author Tom Wolfe called it “a tribute to [anti-war activist] Jane Fonda,” Vietnam veteran Jim Webb, a future U.S. Senator, referred to it as “a nihilistic slab of stone,” and political commentator Pat Buchanan accused one of the design judges of being a “communist,” said History.com.

The memorial in Washington touched many lives since it was unveiled on Nov. 13, 1982. A scaled replica titled “The Wall that Heals” was made to travel across the country so individuals who cannot see it at the Capitol can view it.

On March 22 The mobile Wall visited Lone Hill Middle School. For four days the replica was at Lone Hill, and on March 25, the wall was packed up and transported to its next location.

Linda Mustion, a military researcher, historian, biographer, and volunteer for the Wall that Heals, graciously shared her story of working with the wall. She said, “I have two classmates from Burbank High Class of 67 on the wall. The Moving Wall came to Burbank in 1998, and I’ve been doing the traveling wall ever since for the last 20 years on and off.”

Many veterans are impacted by the wall, she said. “For some its very very emotional. All they have to do is walk half way up, and they don’t go any further. Some still to this day won’t go to the wall because it is too hard for them. Others come, and they will stand at a name and just look for hours in the hot sun. Not move and just stare at one name, and they move to another name and do it for another 30 minutes.”

While most of the soldiers on the wall are about 21-years-old, Ms. Mustion said, “The youngest person on the wall was 15-years-old Dan Bullock; he forged his birth certificate and joined the Marine Core at 14, celebrated his 15th birthday in boot camp, was sent to Vietnam and killed just short of his 16th birthday. Nobody knew his true age until his body was returned home.”

The mobile wall allows respects to be paid to the fallen soldiers all across the country.

 

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Wall that Heals