The Wall That Heals arrives in city today

Published 11:25 am Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Contributing Editor

The Wall That Heals is scheduled to arrive at Veterans Park in Washington about 3 p.m. today.
The Wall That Heals refers to a half-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The Wall That Heals will be displayed Thursday through Sunday — around the clock — in the Original Washington. The display is free and open to the public.
The replica will be escorted by members of the Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle organization, from Danville, Va., to Washington, with a short stop in Rocky Mount, where other riders will join the escort group. The replica is expected to arrive at the Washington campus of Mount Olive College (on U.S. Highway 264 west of Washington) about 2:30 p.m., where local law-enforcement personnel and other riders will join the escort group. From there, the escort group will proceed along U.S. 264 to 15th Street, then east along 15th Street to U.S. Highway 17, then south on U.S. 17, then to Third Street, where it will turn left and proceed along Third Street to Veterans Park.
A group of local veterans and others have banded together to bring the memorial to Washington. The wall commemorates the more than 58,000 men and women who were killed during the 10 years of the Vietnam War. Vietnam veteran and Washington resident George H. Schryer is heading the effort to bring the wall to Washington at an estimated cost of $10,000.
The opening ceremonies for Washington visit of The Wall That Heals begin at 9 a.m. Thursday at Veterans Park. The replica will be set up Wednesday.
“Everything is just super,” Schryer said Monday afternoon during a brief interview. “I’m hoping we can get some people out on the streets when the group comes through.”
Allan Hoffman, news anchor for WNCT-TV in Greenville and a Vietnam veteran, will read the names of 42 people from Beaufort County and surrounding counties who died in the Vietnam War, according to Schryer. Hoffman was a combat helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Among those names Hoffman reads will be Warren Lee Beacham, James Leroy Brown, Joseph Henry Downing Jr., Carl Frederick Hodges Jr., Gary Hoyt Leary and Paul Marion Nance Jr., all from Washington.
The opening ceremonies begin with a B-52 flyover and include keynote remarks by retired Army Col. Walter Joseph Marm Jr. from Fremont, a Medal of Honor recipient, and a POW-MIA ceremony. Washington Mayor Archie Jennings is among others scheduled to speak at the event. At the end of the opening ceremonies, doves will be released.
Area veterans organizations and community members have helped raise funds for the project. The City of Washington and Beaufort County Board of Commissioners each pledged $2,000.
The traveling memorial is owned and operated by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, a private, nonprofit organization.