By the Outer Banks Voice
The Wall That Heals made a grand entrance into Dare County today accompanied by an impressive procession of motorcycles. In fact, the ride that began in Columbia was, according to officials from the Wall That Heals, the largest escort of the exhibit that they have witnessed.
The Wall That Heals is a three-quarters replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC and is a moving exhibit whose purpose, according to the Vietnam Memorial Fund website, is “to honor and preserve the legacy of service and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War.”
Among the spectators lining US 64 through Manteo were a number of Vietnam War Veterans for whom the procession clearly stirred up memories.
“Anywhere you’d go over there, it was tough,” Bud Hendrix recalled. Hendrix was a Ranger whose unit was “designated to control the Cambodian border and Ho Chi Minh Trail.”
The Wall, which arrived here on Tuesday, Nov. 14, will be at the Nags Head Event Site through Sunday, Nov. 19. The official opening of the exhibit will be on Thursday, Nov. 16, but when the Wall arrived for its stay Tuesday, the escort riders gathered around it.
Barry (Fuzzy) Holt from Wanchese explained that seeing the wall and what it represents can be painful and difficult. “There were some brothers I talked to to try to get them out here,” he said. But they didn’t come and, he explained that he could understand that.
“The first time I saw the Wall, I was hesitant. I stayed away from it. I was on the grounds, but I didn’t get up close to it that time…I made one quick pass, but at a distance,” he said. “And I think I’m still seeing that guys don’t want to go and break down and cry.”
The official opening ceremony for the Wall That Heals will be at 10:00 a.m. Nov 16. It will be on display until the closing ceremony at 1:45 p.m. on Nov. 19. The Wall will be available for viewing at all times throughout its time at the Event Site.
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