Travelling Vietnam Veterans Memorial gets warm welcome to Knoxville
A three-quarter sized replica of Washington’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial is coming to Knoxville.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Thursday, elected officials welcomed a three-quarter sized replica of Washington’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial is coming to Knoxville in April. The memorial is on a country-wide tour.
The Wall That Heals is a mobile education center and memorial that will be free and open to the public from April 21 - 24. Those interested can see the memorial at the Berry Lynnhurst Funeral Home & Lynnhurst Cemetery.
The opening ceremony featured words from retired Captain Bill Robinson, the longest held enlisted Prisoner of War in U.S. military history.
“Only two defining forces ever offered to die for you was Jesus Christ and the American military. One died for your soul and the other for your freedom,” Robinson said to an audience.
Some guests were overwhelmed with emotions like American Gold Star mother Vickie Jones.
“As long as you speak their name, they’re still alive. They’re still here. They’re still with us,” Jones said.
Thursday, April 21
The Opening Ceremony for The Wall That Heals will take place at 10:00am on Thursday, April 21. The keynote speaker will be Captain Bill Robinson, United States Air Force, who is the longest held enlisted Prisoner of War in U.S. military history. He was imprisoned by the North Vietnamese for 7 and a half years. Other dignitaries will include Knoxville Mayor, Indya Kincannon, Knox County Mayor, Glenn Jacobs, and 2nd District Congressman, Tim Burchett.
The Central High School band will perform the National Anthem and a medley of patriotic music during the wreath presentations.
Saturday April 23
There will be a special Quilts of Valor ceremony at 11:00am in the adjacent Berry Lynnhurst Funeral Home Chapel. These quilts are presented to Veterans who have been touched by war. Eight to 10 such quilts will be presented. This is open to the public.
Sunday, April 24
A typical Chaplain led field worship service will be held in the Berry Lynnhurst Funeral Home chapel.
The Wall That Heals will be open, staffed and free to the public 24 hours a day until it closes on Sunday at 2:00pm. It will then be disassembled by a team of volunteers, packed back into the truck and head to its next stop on the tour. Parking and free shuttle service to and from the cemetery is generously provided by the Food City grocery at the corner of Broadway and Adair. The shuttle will be available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Parking is available in the Berry Lynnhurst Funeral Home parking lot during the overnight hours.
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