A scale model of a national memorial honoring veterans will be making a hero’s entrance as it makes its way into Howell for a four-day residency.

The Wall That Heals is a ¾ scale replication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that stands in the nation’s capital. Stretching roughly a football field’s length, it is made from the same synthetic material, has the same reflective quality, carries all the names, and shares the same 120-degree angle as the original in Washington D.C. Visitors can even feel the names and take home rubbings if they please. The Wall is currently a on a 38-state tour and will be set up at the Livingston County Airport, in Howell from this coming Thursday the 23rd, through Sunday the 26th.

Tim Tetz, Director of Outreach for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund said that veterans and supporters should also target this Tuesday afternoon for a special event as it arrives into town. The last hour of the Wall’s journey to its next destination is traditionally done with a motorcycle escort. Tetz said he hopes they are joined by 100s of motorcycles that will take the 51-foot trailer transporting the Wall down the final stretch. Tetz said this escort parade is a way to give Vietnam Veterans the celebration experience they didn’t get, that veterans from World Wars 1 and 2 received upon returning home. He’s hoping that residents and supporters will line Grand River Avenue for the last stretch of the journey between Brighton and Howell. The Wall’s escort is estimated to be in Brighton around 2:45pm, and Howell at 3pm.

Once set up, the wall will be available for free public viewing 24 hours per day. Several events are scheduled to take place throughout the weekend. An Opening Day Ceremony will happen at 6:30pm on Thursday. On Friday the 24th, First Responders will be recognized at 6:30pm. Agent Orange awareness discussions will take place on Saturday the 25th at 10am and 2pm. On Sunday, beginning at 2pm, there will be a Women in the Military Tribute, followed by the closing ceremony.

The Mobile Education Center will also be set up. There will be display cases with artifacts from the Vietnam War and two 6-foot screens. One will show the names of all the Vietnam Veterans from Livingston County and 6 others surrounding it, the other will display the names of veterans from Michigan who returned from Vietnam, but later died of injuries from their time of service.

This event is being hosted locally by the Livingston County Chapter of Disabled American Veterans 125. (MK)