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‘The Wall That Heals’ traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial now on display in San Luis Obispo

The Wall That Heals
Gene and Madie Leek of Nipomo view The Wall That Heals in San Luis Obispo on March 17, 2023. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- A mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. is now on display in San Luis Obispo.

Measuring 375 in length and standing 7.5 feet high, The Wall That Heals is a three-quarter scale version of the national memorial that has been on display in Washington D.C. since 1982,

This traveling exhibit is now temporarily on display at Madonna Inn Meadows, which is adjacent to Madonna Inn.

The wall honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War, and it bears the names of the 58,281 men and women who died in Vietnam.

"These are Americans, soldiers, airmen, sailors, Coast Guard, from all the services, men and women alike, who gave all because their country asked them to and we don't want to forget them," said Vietnam veteran Bart Topham. "We don't want to forget their stories and we don't want to cease to honor their sacrifice."

On Friday, hundreds of visitors that spanned generations came out to personally view the display, including many Vietnam veterans themselves.

"I have eight of my squadron mates, all of whom I flew with, crew chiefs and pilots are on that wall, so it has a special meaning to me and emotional," said Vietnam veteran John Whitworth.

In addition to the wall, there is also mobile education center that features the nearly 200 veterans from the Central Coast that died while serving in Vietnam.

This marks the second time in six years The Wall That Heals has been on display in San Luis Obispo.

The County of San Luis Obispo Veterans Services Office and The Central Coast Veterans Memorial Museum, in partnership with The Madonna Inn, and Legacy Village Wellness Centers, all worked to bring the display back so residents may be able to experience the memorial in person without having to travel to the east coast.

The Wall That Heals will remain on display 24 hours a day through 2 p.m. Sunday.

There is no admission to view the wall, but donations are accepted.

For more information on The Wall That Heals, click here.

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