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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Special Programs Planned as UCM Prepares to Host The Wall That Heals 

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (May 26, 2017) – The Wall That Heals, a major component in the University of Central Missouri’s efforts to engage discussion, honor service members, and educate students and area citizens about the Vietnam War, is coming to campus June 29-July 2.

 The free exhibit is open to the public along with a number of other special opportunities planned in conjunction with the event. These range from an advance preview of a heralded new Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary about the war to a special memorial service recognizing local veterans whose names are on the wall to a Veterans Stand-Down and exhibition at UCM’s McClure Archives and University Museum.   

Wall That Heals logo

Approximately 250 feet long, The Wall that Heals is a mobile half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (often called The Wall) in Washington, D.C. It is a program of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and includes a mobile Education Center, providing more information about the Vietnam War, as well as 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 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. Located on the first floor of the James C. Kirkpatrick Library, the McClure Archives and University Museum was awarded the opportunity to host The Wall That Heals as part of the traveling exhibit’s 2017 schedule. As such, the display will be stationed on the west side of the library, and will be open 24 hours a day beginning at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, June 29, until close at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 2.

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, which include 10 Johnson Countians, are listed along the chevron-shaped display by day of casualty.

Amber Clifford-Napoleone, associate professor of anthropology and director of the McClure Archives and University Museum, said bringing the exhibit to campus is consistent with the Archives and Museum’s designation by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) as a Vietnam Commemorative Partner. As such, the university also is playing a role in gathering and sharing veterans’ stories leading up to the nation’s 50th anniversary observance of the Vietnam War in 2025.

She stressed the educational value of this exhibit, noting, it is a unique opportunity to engage UCM students and community members in civic action in a concrete way to learn about the memorialization of war in the U.S.

 “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,” Clifford-Napoleone said.

The first of the special events associated with The Wall That Heals is a brief opening ceremony that begins at 7:30 a.m. Thursday on the Kirkpatrick Library front lawn. At 6 p.m. in the Alumni memorial Chapel, there will be a special memorial service commemorating the Vietnam War. It will honor those who served and their families, and recognize local veterans whose names are on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Col. Gary Gilmore, senior Army chaplain with the Missouri Army National Guard, will officiate.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Friday in Twomey Auditorium, Wood Building 100 for an advance preview of
Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s documentary, “The Vietnam War,” as well as a panel discussion featuring local Vietnam War veterans and civilian workers. KMOS-TV, UCM’s public television station, is making this possible. It is one segment within a 10-part documentary that the station will air in September 2017 telling the epic story of the Vietnam War through firsthand accounts and testimony from nearly 100 witnesses. The documentary features many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.

The Veterans Stand-Down is planned for 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the ballroom of the Elliott Student Union. Veterans’ organizations, health services representatives, and medical professionals will offer free assistance to veterans. Participants are encouraged to bring their DD Form 214 or other identification.

Throughout the four-day event, the McClure Archives and Museum exhibition, “Commemoration,” will be open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in library room 1470. This event features the stories of local military veterans who were interviewed by UCM students, as well as memorabilia from local veterans.

The Wall That Heals is hosted by the McClure Archives and University Museum, which also joins in sponsoring the event with KMOS-TV, Museum of Missouri Military History, UCM Office of the Provost-Chief Learning Officer, and UCM Military and Veterans Services.

For more information, visit, or contact Amber Clifford-Napoleone at 660-543-4649, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at James C. Kirkpatrick Library 1470.  Interested individuals can also visit Facebook  @ucmarchivesandmuseum.