Vietnam Veteran Wall Arrives in Athens

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“The Wall That Heals” Bus in Logan, Ohio

It was a morning of solidarity, emotions, and energy as more than 100 motorcyclists escorted the Vietnam Veteran Wall, also known as “The Wall That Heals” from Logan to Athens.

The wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

The wall will be on display Wednesday evening through Sunday at noon. The wall will then move to its next location in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The veterans present at Wednesday morning’s escort say this is more than a wall, and to everyone who served, it is very special.

“It gives everyone the opportunity to pay their respects in their own way,” Navy Vietnam Veteran, Tom Smith said. “It will be open 24/7 a lot of people show up at nighttime, we prefer that, I’m talking mainly about the veterans, each veteran that shows up it’s a personal issue.”

Pete Peyton, a Vietnam veteran says this wall is very special to him.

“I’ve never been to D.C. to see the wall and I’ve got two friends names on it,” he said.

The campus involvement center and Ohio University’s Veterans and Military Students Center have been working since January to make sure the wall made its way to Athens. The director of Ohio University’s Veterans and Military Students Center, David Edwards said there was a motivation behind bringing the wall to Athens.

“We know there’s many Vietnam veterans that live in the Athens County, so we wanted to do this, really, in honor of them,” he said.

Edwards says the wall has brought Ohio University offices together and made the connection with the community veteran services.

To protect the wall while it is on campus, “we actually have many students and faculty, and administrators that are going to be coming out and working shifts to help people find names on the wall, to look up information about Vietnam,” Edwards said. “So they are also going to be working as far as watching the wall itself. We have 24 hour coverage.”