Traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial postpones visit to Blackfoot due to COVID-19
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The following is a news release and photo from The Wall that Heals – Blackfoot.
BLACKFOOT — The Wall That Heals event that was originally scheduled to occur in Blackfoot on Sept. 24-27 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
TWTH – Blackfoot is currently working with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C. to reschedule a new date for 2021. The event would have brought the preeminent replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to the area for Vietnam veterans, family members and members of the public.
TWTH honors Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam conflict. It also helps the living heal by allowing them to commemorate fallen heroes within the familiarity and support of their local community. Many of the surviving family members and veterans that would benefit most from hosting TWTH in Blackfoot are also the most vulnerable amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Bedford, Pennsylvania recently moved forward with their event after a long string of TWTH cancelations that had occurred due to COVID-19. Their event gave TWTH – Blackfoot and VVMF an opportunity to better understand the challenges, accomplishments and touching stories that come with hosting TWTH during this difficult time. According to VVMF Director of Outreach, Tim Tetz,
“While we were setting up TWTH in Bedford, an older woman approached me asking how to find a name on The Wall. Vicky wanted to help bring panel 5W out of the trailer. Her little brother was on that panel, SSGT Roger Holler. She was too moved and physically unfit to do much in hauling the panel, but as we unloaded it, she touched his name and kept her fingers on it as we installed it in the frames. She was moved to tears (as we all were) and mentioned how many years it had been since she’d seen his name in Washington D.C. As much as I celebrate the opportunity we had to bring this healing to her, we could never forgive ourselves if she became sick because of it.”
We owe it to our community to hold an event everyone can be a part of without undue risk.