The Wall That Heals


by Jill Bright // July - August - September

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. is a symbol of America’s honor, recognizing the more than 3 million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. This monument bears the names of the 58,318 service men and women who lost their lives during or are unaccounted for from this war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

In 1996, a small replica of this memorial was designed to travel throughout the United States, allowing those who were unable to go to Washington the opportunity to see the Wall; teach younger generations the history of the Vietnam War; and give veterans a chance to remember, honor, and pay respect to their fallen comrades. In 2018, a new three-quarter size scale mobile replica and education center, called “The Wall That Heals” (TWTH), was dedicated and put into service.

Thanks to the hard work and efforts of our Wake Forest Purple Heart Foundation, Wake Forest is honored to be the only town in North Carolina this year to host The Wall That Heals on October 18-21 at E. Carroll Joyner Park, located at 701 Harris Road. The community will welcome TWTH into Wake Forest midday on Tuesday, October 16 (time and route to be announced later), escorted by police, fire trucks, and up to 100 Patriot Guard Riders on motorcycles. I encourage local veterans, organizations, businesses, students, and citizens to gather along these highways and streets, wave flags, salute The Wall, and make signs, thanking veterans for their service.

After assembly of the 375-feet-long, 7-1/2 feet high, chevron-shaped memorial, and its education center, this exhibit will bring to life the stories and sacrifices of our hometown heroes. Displays with photos of local service members on The Wall, maps of Vietnam, items left at TWTH in Washington, and much more will be open to the public, free of charge, 24 hours a day, from 8:00 AM Thursday, October 18 until 2:00 PM Sunday, October 21. New LED lighting on The Wall will provide visibility at night, and for the first time, visitors will be able to make name rubbings of individual names on it (pencils and paper will be provided).

Thursday evening’s opening ceremonies will include local tributes, patriotic music, wreath ceremonies, and more. Taps will be played each day at dusk. A closing service on Sunday morning will precede the disassembling of The Wall by local veterans, and we will bid it farewell as it begins its travels to the next stop in Kentucky.

This significant and exciting event will only be possible and successful with business and individual sponsorships, the support of many volunteers, and the hard work of a local volunteer committee. If you are interested in being a part of this important occasion, please visit The Wall That Heals – Wake Forest Facebook page (, The Wall That Heals – Town of Wake Forest website (, or The Wake Forest Purple Heart Foundation website ( for more information, volunteer sign-up, donation opportunities, finalized routes, times, and ceremony schedules.

I hope you take advantage of this unique and memorable experience that we are fortunate to be able to host right here in Wake Forest, and visit The Wall That Heals. May we never forget the many sacrifices of our military and first responders who protect our families, our nation, and our flag, and ultimately make our freedom possible.

Jill Bright

Bright Funeral Home, located at 405 S. Main St. in Wake Forest. Bright Funeral Home serves the Wake Forest, Rolesville, Youngsville, Franklinton, Falls, Bay Leaf, Louisburg, Raleigh, and surrounding areas.