Creatacor Partners with Vietnam Memorial Fund to Build Largest Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica
While satisfying the needs of clients can provide a company with a genuine sense of accomplishment and purpose, there’s nothing like the heartfelt satisfaction that comes from helping to further an important cause – in this case, honoring the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in the Vietnam War.
Exhibit design, fabrication and trade show management provider, Creatacor, had a chance to experience just that when it teamed up with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) to create a new mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “The Wall That Heals.”
Made of solid surface material and at 75 percent scale of “The Wall” memorial in Washington D.C., the 144-panel, 8,000-pound exhibit, which is the largest of its kind, bears the engraved names of the more than 58,000 men and women who sacrificed their lives in Vietnam.
The exhibit tours the U.S. from coast-to-coast via a 53-foot trailer that doubles as a mobile Education Center where visitors can learn about the Vietnam War and view artifacts, memorabilia left at The Wall in D.C. and photo displays of fallen service members, including those whose hometowns are within the exhibit’s areas of visit.
“We are truly honored to be tasked with a sentimental and important project, an exhibit of our nation’s and world’s history, for the public to view closer to home,” said Will Farmer, COO of Creatacor.
He continued, “Our staff understands what an impact the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has on its visitors and we jumped at the chance to build something that honors veterans and brings communities together. We are proud to say that Creatacor built this exhibit.”
Like the D.C. memorial, The Wall That Heals is erected in a chevron-shape and for the first time in its history, visitors can do rubbings of individual service member’s names as they would on the original sculpture.
Constructed of Avonite, a synthetic granite chosen for its reflective quality, durability and weight, the three-quarter scale replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point, allowing visitors to experience The Wall rising above them as they walk toward the apex, a key feature of the D.C. sculpture, which was designed by artist and designer Maya Lin.
Modern LED lighting coupled with a unique framework and design has been placed at the top of the new exhibit to provide better clarity and readability, particularly at night.
The original, smaller version of The Wall That Heals made its debut in 1996 and since then has been on display in nearly 600 U.S. communities in addition to an April 1999 tour of Ireland and a 2005 visit to Canada.
Last year alone, more than 250,000 people visited the traveling memorial, according to VVMF officials.
After developing new displays for VVMF in 2016 and 2017, Creatacor was able to take what it learned and expand upon that knowledge in creating an exhibit space that gives visitors a better understanding of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial’s legacy and the collection of items left at The Wall, Farmer explained.
“We know these updates to the mobile Education Center and creation of the largest mobile replica of The Wall yet will be impactful for all who have served in the military and who have an opportunity to visit the exhibition this year,” Farmer said.
The new edition of The Wall That Heals departed Creatacor’s headquarters in Clifton Park, N.Y. on Feb. 23 with a ceremonial sendoff as veterans from all U.S. armed services were invited to attend and line the roadway as the traveling memorial embarked upon on its country-wide journey.
Its first stop was Portland, Texas, followed by 40 additional stops across the country.
“We are thrilled to take the new The Wall That Heals exhibit on the road for the public to experience,” said Jim Knotts, VVMF president and CEO.
He continued, “Through The Wall That Heals, we are able to return the names home to communities across the country and allow Vietnam veterans and their family members who cannot make it to Washington, D.C. the opportunity to see The Wall. We couldn’t have done this without the incredible team at Creatacor who has worked tirelessly over the last few months to make this happen.”
Check out a video of “The Wall That Heals” HERE.