Wall That Heals

Representatives of Idaho Central Credit Union and Bingham Healthcare presented checks along with Cindy and Scott Reese flanking Fred and Pennie Saunders, who helped plant the idea of bringing The Wall That Heals to Blackfoot. Fred is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

BLACKFOOT — The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with a mobile Education Center, will be in Blackfoot next fall from Sept. 24-27.

The exhibit will be on display at a Blackfoot location to be determined and will be open 24 hours a day and free to the public. The Blackfoot Committee for The Wall That Heals is leading the effort that will bring the exhibit to Blackfoot. The Wall That Heals 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 58,276 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.

“The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is pleased to bring The Wall That Heals mobile exhibit to Blackfoot to allow local veterans and their family members a chance to experience The Wall and honor and remember those who have served and sacrificed,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF). “Hosting The Wall That Heals provides an opportunity for healing and an educational experience for visitors on the impact of the Vietnam War on America.”

Idaho Central Credit Union and Bingham Healthcare have joined together as title sponsors to help bring this incredible exhibit to Blackfoot. They each presented a check for$5,000 Friday in a presentation at Patriot Field to cover the $10,000 cost to bring the wall to Blackfoot.

It’s an honor and a privilege to work on this event,” said Cindy Reese, chairwoman of the Blackfoot Committee for The Wall That Heals. “Bingham County and our surrounding communities have a rich history of supporting our military, both past and present, and is excited to be able to bring this very rare opportunity to Blackfoot and all of southeast Idaho.”

Additional community support and financial sponsorship will be needed as preparations continue in bringing The Wall That Heals to Blackfoot.

School and youth groups are encouraged to visit The Wall That Heals. Trained staff from VVMF will be on site to provide free educational tours of the exhibits. Tours can be customized based on ages so visitors can learn about the history of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, hear stories of those who served in Vietnam and learn about the impact of the Vietnam War on America. To schedule a tour, contact Ryan Wilson at Blackfoot School District 55, wilsr@d55.k12.id.us

About The Wall That Heals

The Wall That Heals is transported from community to community in a 53-foot trailer. When parked, the trailer opens with exhibits built into its sides, allowing it to serve as a mobile Education Center telling the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the divisive era in American history.

The three-quarter scale replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. Visitors will experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in Washington, D.C. Visitors are able to do name rubbings of individual service members’ names on The Wall.

The mobile education center display includes digital photo displays of “Hometown Heroes” — service members whose names are on The Wall that list their home of record within the area of a visit and the “In Memory Honor Roll” — Vietnam veterans from the local area honored through VVMF’s In Memory program which honors veterans who returned home from Vietnam and later died as a result of their service. A display of items representative of those left at The Wall in D.C. tell the story of the Vietnam War, The Wall and the era surrounding the conflict.

The 2020 national The Wall That Heals tour is generously sponsored by USAA and transported thousands of miles across the country each year through a partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and the trucking industry.

More than 300,000 people visited The Wall That Heals exhibit in 2019. Since its debut in 1996, the exhibit has been on display in nearly 600 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of the Four Provinces of Ireland and a visit to Canada in 2005. The Wall That Heals is a program of VVMF, the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 1982. The Wall That Heals is the only traveling exhibit affiliated with The Wall in Washington, D.C. and includes the largest Wall replica that travels the country. Two VVMF staff members lead volunteers on site, educate visitors and students, and ensure the reflective atmosphere of The Wall. More information can be found at: www.thewallthatheals.org.

About VVMF

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is the nonprofit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington, D.C. in 1982. VVMF continues to lead the way in paying tribute to our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families. VVMF’s mission is to honor and preserve the legacy of service in America and educate all generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and era through programs, ceremonies and education materials. To learn more about VVMF, visit www.vvmf.org or call 202-393-0090.

About Idaho Central Credit Union

Idaho Central was organized as a state-chartered credit union in 1940. The credit union’s administrative office is located in Chubbuck. Idaho Central has over 1,200 employees serving over 380,000 members with 37 locations throughout the state and over $4.8 billion in assets. Idaho Central is a full-service, federally-insured financial institution and is ranked as a top credit union in the nation in returning value to its members.

About Bingham Healthcare

Bingham Healthcare is a non-profit health system located in east Idaho. As the largest network of doctors, surgeons and specialists in the region, services include a growing number of hospitals, surgery centers, and physician offices in Idaho Falls, Ammon, Shelley, Blackfoot, Chubbuck, and Pocatello