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A replica of the Vietnam War Memorial will make its way to Asheboro in June along with some of that history behind the wall.

The wall that heals

Janet Imrick
Randolph Hub 


ASHEBORO — The arrival of The Wall that Heals this summer is to be a solemn experience, with ceremonies and a 24-hour watch. It is the hope of Randolph County Veteran Services that this replica of Washington's Vietnam War Memorial will make veterans feel honored for their service, give them a place to remember friends, and educate others about those experiences on the frontlines.


Rita Honeycutt, a veterans service officer, underwent training to organize The Wall that Heals visit, learning everything from volunteers' obligations to the logistics of escorting the display.


She pointed to a binder she filled with notes from the online classes she attended in her Veterans Services office on Worth Street in Asheboro. "It's all the little things, even simple things," she said. “Like, you have to have X amount of No. 2 pencils for each veteran, if they want to do the scrubbing of a name on a piece of paper.”


The Wall that Heals is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, that travels all around the country. It bears the names of 58,281 men and women who gave their lives in Vietnam. It will come to Asheboro on June 20-23. It will be free to the public and open 24 hours a day.


“We have so many veterans that are older,” Honeycutt said. “It's harder for them to get to DC because of physical or financial limitations. This brings that monument to them.”


Ceremonies will begin on June 18 at 9:30 a.m. at Creekside Park in Archdale. American Legion Post 87 in High Point will lead a motorcycle escort to Asheboro. They will install The Wall that Heals on June 19 at the South Asheboro Middle School ballfield, the traditional site of the Field of Honor.


“This is 375 feet long. I thought, 'Where's this going to go?’ ” Honeycutt said. “So, we went and met with the middle school, and they're out there with measuring tapes trying to figure out where sprinklers were. And they said, ‘We can fit it.’ "


Part of the experience is replicating the quiet atmosphere of the Wall in Washington. Volunteers will make sure crowds maintain that peaceful respect around the Wall itself. 


A mobile education center will serve as an on-site classroom. Its digital displays can be tailored to identify local veterans. 


A veterans' resource area will inform veterans and their families of the services available to them.


Honeycutt got a swell of support from local businesses and law enforcement, veteran-centered organizations such as AmVets, Combat Vets, and Letters from Home; and NC Sen. Dave Craven and NC Rep. Brian Biggs. That was critical to getting her application to host the Wall accepted.


“The wall requires over 250 volunteers to run it while it's here,” Honeycutt said. “That really set us apart. Because we have the sheriff's department and American Legion. I listed a total of 12 organizations that I knew we could count on for this.”


All fees raised by The Wall that Heals go back to the memorial in Washington for repairs and upkeep, but there is a likelihood that something will be left behind in Randolph County.


People may bring memorial gifts such as dog tags and other memorabilia. If they don't want those items returned, Honeycutt will collect them and work with the county to create a permanent display.


“It's not like the Wall just goes and this is over,” she said. “It opens up this whole new thing for us to present our veteran population.”


For more information, visit the Randolph County Veterans Services website: https://www.randolphcountync.gov/585/The-Wall-That-Heals.