- Associated Press - Friday, August 5, 2016

FLORA, Ind. (AP) - Those in and around Carroll County over the next few days won’t have to travel to Washington, D.C. to pay their respects at its Vietnam Veterans Memorial - a replica of that monument is coming to them.

The Wall that Heals, a half-size replica of the memorial in the nation’s capital commemorating American service members who served in the Vietnam War, will stand in Flora Community Park Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 4-7. Coming with it is a locally organized program made up of appearances by area veterans, speeches, music and skydivers.

The 250-foot-long wall has traveled to more than 400 cities since 1996, according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s website.

The exterior sides of the trailer that transports the wall open up to become its Education Center. Cases filled with photographs of service members, letters and memorabilia left at the monument in Washington span its walls.

“The exhibits tell the story of the Vietnam War, the Wall and the era surrounding the conflict, and are designed to put American experiences in Vietnam in a historical and cultural context,” the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s website states.

Anita Hartman, an assistant with the Carroll County Veterans Remembrance Committee, said visitors to the memorial will find the Education Center helpful in tracking down the identities of service members listed on the wall.

“If you’re looking for a particular name, that’s where you look up to find out which panel and what line it’s on,” she said.

The Carroll County Veterans Remembrance Committee was behind the push to bring the wall to Flora. It marks their third annual installment of programs to honor Americans involved in armed conflicts throughout history. Last year, the committee underscored Korean War veterans and the year before it focused on those who served in World War II.

“If we didn’t have these veterans, we wouldn’t have the freedoms that we do have,” Hartman said.

More than 730 Carroll County residents served in the Vietnam War, nine of whom were killed, Hartman said.

“They take their lives in their hands when they go someplace like that and they’re always proud that they’ve done it,” she said.

Workers set up The Wall That Heals Wednesday in Flora Community Park, located off of Ind. 18 on the town’s northeast side. It opens to visitors at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Hartman said veterans can start registering at the park between 9:30 and 10 a.m. Saturday for a free meal at noon. The program continues at 1:30 p.m. with music, an address from a local Vietnam War veteran, a ceremony during which Vietnam War veterans will receive pins and a skydiving show.

The wall will conclude its stay in Flora with a closing program at 4 p.m. Sunday that will feature personnel from Grissom Air Reserve Base in Miami County posting the colors, speeches and more music.

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Source: (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune, http://bit.ly/2aoRaFM

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Information from: Pharos-Tribune, http://www.pharostribune.com

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