BERLIN — In just one week, Ocean Pines will play host to a historic visit by The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The traveling national exhibit includes the names of more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or remain missing because of the Vietnam War.
Volunteers will set up the wall at Veterans Memorial Park, on Route 589 and Cathell Road in Ocean Pines, on April 21. The exbibit will be open to the public, 24 hours a day, from Thursday, April 22 until Sunday, April 25 at 2 p.m.
Key dates as part of the Wall That Heals visit include:
Arrival: April 20 at 4 p.m. – Local people are asked to line the roadside along Route 589, south of Manklin Creek Road. A 53-foot trailer carrying the exhibit will travel to Veterans Memorial Park, led by a motorcycle escort of more than 100 volunteers and local law enforcement
Volunteer training: April 21 at 6 p.m. – Volunteers are asked to gather at the wall for training from Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund personnel
Welcome home opening ceremony: Thursday, April 22 at 11 a.m. – The opening ceremony will include remarks from Brig. Gen. Warner Sumpter, U.S. Army (retired) and chairman of the Veterans Home Commission; Maryland State Sen. Doug Peters; Maryland State Sen. Mary Beth Carozza; and American ex-Vietnam POW Ralph Galati.
Candlelight ceremony: Saturday, April 24 at 7 p.m. – Guests may walk along the wall, holding a candle, as volunteers read aloud the names of “hometown heroes” from Worcester County, as well as from other counties on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, and Sussex County in Delaware
Public parking will be available at the site of the event and volunteers will staff the exhibit, 24 hours a day. Additionally, shuttle service will be available from the parking area next to Taylor Bank on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Limited seating will be available during events and guests are encouraged to bring chairs.
COVID-19 protocols are still in effect, including mask mandates and social distancing.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit this exhibit in our community, and to honor the sacrifices of our Vietnam veterans,” said Marie Gilmore, president of the Worcester County Veterans Memorial Foundation. “The Wall That Heals is a national traveling exhibit and does not normally visit Maryland. We’re very happy that an exception was made to bring the wall to Ocean Pines, and we hope that everyone in our community will come and show their support and appreciation.”
For more information on the Worcester County Veterans Memorial Foundation or the Wall That Heals, visit www.opvets.org.