The Wall That Heals returns to Crivitz

CRIVITZ, Wis. — Bitterness. Anger. Confusion. Death. Grief. Sorrow. Flashbacks. Trauma. Survivor’s guilt. Rejection. Abandonment. Alienation. Physical inability. Missing limbs and missing comrades. Images and circumstances seared in the mind. No closure.

This list is far from extensive but reflects some of the daily emotional, mental, and physical realities so many Vietnam veterans have had to navigate as a result of their time at war.

Jan Scruggs, the Vietnam veteran with the initial vision of a memorial that would bring honor to those who served, said, “Its mere existence would be societal recognition that their sacrifices were honorable rather than dishonorable. Our country needed something symbolic to help heal our wounds.”

Thus marked the beginning of the process to build a Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., where the names of every person lost in combat would be etched and forever remembered.

Since 1996, the traveling replica of The Wall makes it possible to bring these names to communities across our nation, where these selfless heroes can be remembered and honored, and healing can begin.

When The Wall That Heals was in Crivitz in 2018, I was often overcome with emotion as I helped veterans and attendees search for their loved ones, friends, and comrades. Many times, when my help wasn’t needed, I would steal away to have a good, quick cry. But I wouldn’t change a thing about that experience. It was an honor for our community to bear witness to several healing moments for veterans, family and friends.

One of the greatest positions we can take to honor those who are suffering and hurting is to simply offer our presence. A listening ear, a compassionate stance; not pretending we could even begin to imagine what our veterans have experienced.

The Apostle Paul wrote this to the church in Galatia: “Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” And the law of Christ is this: love.

To our veterans: we see you. We are here for you. We are so sorry for the suffering you’ve endured both in battle and the battles faced upon your return. Our small town opens its arms once again. We are ready to embrace, to support, to carry those who come to The Wall for healing.

We invite you to join us June 1-4 at the Crivitz-Stephenson Area Museum.

Scheduled Events

June 1: Welcome Home Ceremony, 10 a.m.

June 2: Candlelight Vigil and Honor Call Reading of Names, 9 p.m.

June 3: Veterans “Thank You” Day, cookout 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Vietnam Veteran Recognition Moments 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

June 4: Honoring Heroes Ceremony, 12:30 p.m.; The Wall closes at 2 p.m.

The Wall is free and open 24 hours, rain or shine.


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