The Wall That Heals coming to OBX this fall

Published 6:12 am Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The Outer Banks will be hosting The Wall That Heals exhibit at the Soundside Event Site November 16-19, 2023.

The Wall That Heals is a traveling three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 2023, the exhibit, along with a mobile education center, will visit 32 communities, with Nags Head as its final destination.

The Wall That Heals lists the names of the 58,281 men and women who gave their lives in Vietnam. It is 375 feet in length and 7.5 feet high at its peak.

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It honors those who answered the call of service to their country – the 2.7 million veterans who returned home from the war, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Bringing The Wall home to communities throughout our country allows the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist once more among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings. The traveling exhibit provides thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin,” says the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website.

Dare County Veterans Services Officer Patty O’Sullivan, in a presentation to Nags Head board of commissioners on February 1, said there are 5000 veterans in Dare County and approximately 1000 visitors to the exhibit are expected each day. While in Nags Head, The Wall That Heals will be open to visitors 24 hours per day.

“What an honor for Nags Head and Dare County for this to be brought here,” said Nags Head commissioner Kevin Brinkley following the presentation.

Once the tractor trailer in which The Wall That Heals travels is unloaded, the truck turns into an education center, featuring a timeline and artifacts from the Vietnam War. There is a Wall of Heroes section that honors local veterans who died during the war, as well as an “In Memory” section that features local veterans who served in the war and passed away after returning home, no matter the cause.

“The wall is inclusive to honor all Vietnam veterans,” O’Sullivan said.

The Coast Guard and the Army Recruiting Office in Elizabeth City will work together to keep the exhibit staffed at all times. Those interested in volunteering to unload and erect the wall, or those interested in donating to the exhibit, can email patricia.o’