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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 11, 2016) – The same day the University of Central Missouri honored the men and women who died in military service to the United States, the university also announced a special summer 2017 event in memory of those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. From June 29-July 2, UCM’s McClure Archives and University Museum will host The Wall That Heals, a mobile half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall), in Washington, D.C.
The Wall That Heals is a program of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the founders of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Wall That Heals exhibit includes a mobile Education Center, providing more information about the Vietnam War. It features photos of service members whose names are on The Wall, a timeline of the Vietnam era, and letters and memorabilia left at The Wall in D.C.
“The purpose of hosting The Wall That Heals is to facilitate dialogues and learning opportunities about the Vietnam War, to offer a place where veterans and their families can view the memorial without necessary travel, and to create a site for communities to share all of those experiences,” said Amber Clifford-Napoleone, associate professor of anthropology and director of the McClure Archives and University Museum.
She noted that the exhibit is made possible through an extensive and competitive application process. It is under the auspices of the McClure Archives and University Museum, and is brought to campus, in part, through funding provided by the Office of the Provost-Chief Learning Officer. The Archives and University Museum was awarded the opportunity to host The Wall That Heals as part of the traveling exhibit’s 2017 schedule.
Although plans are still being finalized, leading up to the campus arrival of The Wall That Heals, the Archives and Museum also will offer an exhibit in spring 2017 that provides a Johnson County perspective related to three military events that are achieving historic milestones. These commemorative activities include the 100th anniversary of World War I, the 75th anniversary of World War II, and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. More information about these activities and opportunities for men and women who served in the military to submit personal stories and information for inclusion in this local commemoration will be released in the future.
Consistent with UCM’s goal to provide experiential learning opportunities for students, Clifford-Napoleone said anthropology students will have the opportunity to staff The Wall That Heals exhibit, along with other campus and community volunteers, including veterans and active duty members of Whiteman Air Force Base .
She pointed out that one of UCM’s goals is to increase the number of students who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful civic actions, and to focus the attention of policy makers and opinion leaders on the civic value of the college experience.
“The Wall That Heals is a unique opportunity for UCM students and community members to engage in civic action in a concrete way: by engaging in, working with and actively learning about the memorialization of war in the United States,” Clifford-Napoleone said. “For much of the American Public, the Vietnam War is not a historical fact, it is a recent memory and a life-altering event. Vietnam changed America’s civic and political fabric, and its lasting impact is still felt.”
The Wall That Heals includes the names of more than 58,000 service members who died or remain missing from their military service in the Vietnam War. Their names are listed by day of casualty. The display is approximately 250 feet long, and similar to the original memorial, it is erected in a chevron shape. This exhibit has been to more than 400 communities across the U.S. A possible boost for Warrensburg tourism and the local economy, the exhibit typically brings visitors from about 150-mile radius.
To learn more about The Wall That Heals, visit thewallthatheals.org. For more information about campus activities related to this exhibit, visit the McClure Archives and Museum website at ucmo.edu/museum or contact Clifford-Napoleone at 660-543-4877, email firstname.lastname@example.org.