By Associated Press - Monday, December 28, 2020

FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) - Volunteers are working to bring a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to Indiana.

The Wall That Heals and a mobile education center about the Vietnam War are scheduled to be displayed June 3-5 at the Johnson County fairgrounds southwest of Indianapolis in Franklin, the (Franklin) Daily Journal reported.

Costs to reserve the exhibit and pay for various site requirements can top $10,000. The local nonprofit group bringing it to Franklin has raised nearly $6,000, is seeking donations and has scheduled fundraising events in 2021.

“Now, it’s crunch time, and I have to get all of this money raised. But it’s well worth it,” said Kathy Ballou, who spearheaded the project. “There are so many people who would love to see it who would never be able to get to Washington.”

Ballou had been pen pals with a soldier in Vietnam. Years later she saw his name on the memorial. It listed him as being slain in 1968.

The Wall That Heals is a replica of the memorial. It’s 375 feet (114 meters) long and up to 7½ feet (2.2 meters) tall. The exhibit has toured the U.S. since 1996 and bears the names of the 58,000 Americans who died in the war.

“Not everyone is able to or desires to come to Washington, D.C. There are people who are physically, emotionally, psychologically unable to come,” said Tim Tetz, director of outreach for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

“As the Vietnam generation has aged, it has become even more challenging to them,” Tetz said.

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