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Today is February 23, 2020

Columbia welcomes The Wall That Heals exhibit

By Nancy Jo Maples

Columbia welcomes The Wall That Heals exhibit

Columbia will host “The Wall That Heals” November 14-17 at Bluff Park, overlooking the scenic Pearl River. The exhibit will be open 24 hours a day; admission is free.

The three-quarter scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is chevron-shaped, 375 feet long and 7.5 feet high. The display showcases more than 58,000 names of men and women killed in Vietnam or still missing in action. Names on 140 synthetic granite panels are illuminated by LED lighting and are listed by day of casualty. A paper directory allows for alphabetical searches; name rubbings are available for those who cannot attend.

The 53-foot trailer that carries “The Wall That Heals” also functions as a mobile education center. The exterior of the trailer features a timeline and images of the Vietnam War. Additional exhibits include photos and information of servicemen, a map of Vietnam and examples of items left at the original memorial, which are collected and cataloged by curators.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 1980 to fund and build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans The mobile exhibit has toured 33 locations across the United States this year, with Mississippi being its final stop for 2019. Columbia’s Walmart contributed the $15,000 exhibit fee, and local fundraisers are covering logistic costs.

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Nancy Jo Maples is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about Mississippi people and places for more than 30 years. Contact her at

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