BLACKFOOT — Blackfoot’s Jensen Grove will become a focal point for Vietnam era veterans and others next week when The Wall That Heals — a Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica and mobile education center — arrives in town Tuesday.
The exhibit features a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the mobile education center gives visitors a better understanding of the legacy of the Wall and educates about the impact of the Vietnam War.
The apex of the memorial is 7.5 feet tall and is 375 feet in length. Like the original memorial, “The Wall That Heals” is erected in a chevron shape and visitors can do name rubbings of individual service member’s names. The replica is constructed of Avonite, a synthetic granite, and its 140 numbered panels are supported by an aluminum frame.
The city will be closing the park to activities such as skateboarding and boating from the time the exhibit opens for viewing Thursday at 12:01 a.m. until it closes Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. to maintain the solemnity of the memorial, according to Mayor Marc Carroll.
The replica will arrive in Idaho Falls at Freeman Park Tuesday and there will be a full escort traveling down Highway 91 between Idaho Falls and Blackfoot to bring it to Jensen Grove. There will be a site walk-through with an escort meet-up in Blackfoot. The escort is scheduled to depart from Freeman Park at 2 p.m., turning off Highway 91 in Blackfoot onto East Airport Road near Oakridge and arriving at the site at 3 p.m.
Volunteers will begin setting up the wall Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Volunteer training is scheduled at 6 p.m. Wednesday and all volunteers are encouraged to attend.
The wall opens for viewing Thursday at 12:01 a.m. and will be open for viewing around the clock through Sunday, Sept. 19, when it will close at 2 p.m.
School visits are scheduled Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A welcome program is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
A veterans breakfast is planned Friday, Sept. 17, from 7-9 a.m. There are no events planned Saturday, Sept. 18. On Sunday, Sept. 19, there will be a prayer service at 1:45 p.m., Taps will be played at 1:55 p.m., with the wall closing at 2 p.m.