The Wall That Heals exhibit will be at the Stephenville City Park from Nov. 7-10.
The traveling exhibit honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War, and it bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The exhibit includes an opening ceremony at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, and a welcome home ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, followed by a veterans parade at 11 a.m. Over 1,500 students will visit The Wall for tours.
Stephenville is one of three Texas cities chosen to host The Wall That Heals this year and is the only stop leading up to Veterans Day.
“We are so excited,” said Julie Smith, manager of Stephenville Tourism and Visitors Bureau. “There were around 100 applicants and to be chosen as one of three cities, plus be the one city in the nation this close to Veterans Day is really exciting for our community.”
“We are delighted that Stephenville was chosen out of 100 applications to be part of the 2019 national tour,” said Mayor Doug Svien. “Being the only stop this close to Veterans Day is the perfect fit with our community, because of our strong patriotism and deep respect for our military.”
Stephenville is also the closest stop to historic Fort Wolters in Mineral Wells, which played a significant role in the Vietnam War. Ninety-five percent of all the helicopter pilots who flew in Vietnam, received training at Fort Wolters. It now serves as home to The National Vietnam War Museum.
Western Dairy Transport will pick up The Wall in Georgia and bring it to Stephenville. The four members of the proud local “Haul the Wall” team served in Vietnam and represent each branch of the military.
The Wall escort will travel via Highway 377 and arrive downtown Stephenville on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at approximately 2:30 p.m. and includes first responders from Erath and Hood counties, Patriot Guard Riders and the Christian Motorcyclists Association.
The Wall will be assembled by White Horse Christian Academy on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 8:30 a.m. and the Stephenville Yellow Jackets will disassemble The Wall on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 2 p.m.
“Every city is tasked with the assembly and disassembly for the wall and we were so fortunate to be able to find special volunteers and we are still taking volunteers if anyone wants to help,” Smith said.
Guards will be stationed at the wall 24/7 with spots still available if anyone would like to volunteer to help.
Citizens are encouraged to gather at the Erath County Courthouse square as the exhibit arrives.
"The welcome ceremony and the ceremony on Saturday the 9th are free and open to the public. We encourage folks to bring their own chairs, but we would love to show support there as well and have people come to those ceremonies. When the escort arrives, if folks could gather downtown and be there for the wall to come through with the escort, that would certainly be a sight to see,” Smith added.