Every year, about 5 million people visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. This year, south suburban residents will not have to travel so far to pay their respects to the 58,000 Americans who lost their lives in the war.
The Wall that Heals replica of the memorial will be coming to Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights from July 5 through July 10.
Katie Kelly, representing Bloom Township, announced at the Homewood Board of Trustees meeting on March 22 that the township would be hosting the display during the touring replica’s 27th season of visiting communities around the country. This year is the 40th anniversary of the memorial in Washington.
The replica is a three-quarters scale version of the memorial. It is 375 feet long and 7 1/2 feet tall. Along with the replica wall are three video displays, including Hometown Heroes, a rotating display of the names and photos of local people who died during the war; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund In Memory program; and a display showing samples of the more than 400,000 items left behind at the memorial in Washington.
Kelly asked Homewood officials to participate in coordinating the event. She said the township is seeking volunteers to help.
• Motorcyclists and first responders are needed to help escort the truck carrying the wall when it arrives in the area on July 5 and for security during its stay.
• Thirty to 35 able bodied volunteers are needed to help with setting up the display on July 6 and breaking it down on July 10. Setup is expected to take about six hours, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jul 6.
• Thirty-two volunteers also are needed each day to supervise the display around the clock.
The display will be open 24 hours a day from the afternoon of July 6 until about 2 p.m. on July 10.
Kelly said visitors will be able to view the arrival of the display from specific points in the township.
“We at Bloom Township are looking for our 12 communities to unite and make this a memorable experience for all,” she said.
Kelly also invited area residents to contact her if they know of a local veteran who should be included in the Hometown Heroes part of the display.
For more information, contact Kelly at [email protected] or 708-754-9400.