The Wall That Heals arrives in Oskaloosa - Ottumwa Courier: Southeast Iowa

The Wall That Heals arrives in Oskaloosa

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 3:06 pm

The Wall That Heals — the replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. — arrived in Oskaloosa Tuesday afternoon.

The one-half-size replica of the memorial will be on display at The Southern Iowa Fairgrounds from Wednesday, July 2, through Sunday, July 6.

A contingent of the Patriot Guard Riders and the local chapter of the American Legion Riders escorted the monument into the fairgrounds.

“We've got about 34 people involved and 31 bikes,” said Jim Clark, Assistant State Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders. “We came from Interstate 80 and Highway 21. We traveled down Highway 21 to Highway 92.”

The American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Van Wall Equipment, of Oskaloosa, are sponsoring the visit of The Wall That Heals.

Oskaloosa is the only Iowa stop for this wall, American Legion Riders member Bill Reed said. The wall honors all of the service members who were killed in action during the Vietnam War. The wall is about 240-feet long, he added.

Sponsor Carl Drost said The Wall that Heals opens at 6 p.m. Wednesday and closes at 6 p.m. Sunday.

“It's open 24 hours a day,” he said.

This is the monument's second visit to Oskaloosa. It was on display at the Southern Iowa Fairgrounds in 2010, Drost said.

Gen. Tommy Franks will be the speaker for the opening ceremony set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the fairgrounds, Drost said.

The Wall That Heals had a long journey to get to Oskaloosa.

The Wall That Heals Site Managers Bob and Brenda Dobek drove the monument from Nashville, Tenn., to Oskaloosa.

“We do all 48 states. We started in California at the end of February,” Bob Dobek said. “This is the 117th stop in five years.”

The next stop for The Wall That Heals after Oskaloosa is Great Falls, Mont., Bob Dobek said.