A Minnesota PBS Initiative

The Wall That Heals

The Wall The Heals Logo.


TPT was honored to host The Wall That Heals, a brand new, 3/4-scale traveling replica
of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Over 15,000 people joined us for a long weekend filled with events and activities designed to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, honor the incredible people we’ve met throughout the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam initiative, understand by listening to each others’ stories, and take a step forward to heal.

Photo collage of images from the Wall That Heals.

The Wall was open 24 hours starting Thursday, June 21 at 9 a.m. through Sunday, June 24 at 3 p.m.
with designated quiet reflection time from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m.

Explore the photo gallery and some highlights below for a glimpse into the weekend:

The Wall That Heals


Photo collage of images from the Wall That Heals.

Huey helicopter display, Mobile Education Center, interactive art exhibits, Minnesota Military Museum exhibit of Vietnam War artifacts, free tours of Minnesota’s Capitol Grounds memorials, veterans’ resource area, story gathering, film screenings & discussions, and taps performed nightly.

Illustrated Wall That Heals event map and key.


We cannot thank the following groups enough for their support of this event and for making it a success:

Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation, McGough Construction, SEARS, The City of Bloomington, Community Volunteers, The Midway & Phalen Cub Food Stores, Minnesota Humanities Center, Minnesota National Guard, Xcel Energy, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 363, Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs, St. Paul Vet Center, MACV, Minneapolis VA, MacPhail Center for Music, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Minnesota Military Museum



Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota logo.

Official Sponsor of the Huey Helicopter

Multi-colored 1968 Minnesota History Center logo.

Official Sponsor of the Artifacts Museum

Media on this page courtesy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and DLG Photography.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica lit up at night.

Please scroll to the bottom of the page for more detail on the events.


9 AM  |  Opening Ceremony hosted by Don Shelby 
with speakers and musical performance by Thomasina Petrus

10 AM  |  Reading of the Names of Minnesota’s fallen

5 PM  |  Literature on the War
led by J.A. Moad & the Minnesota Humanities Center



10 AM  |  Reading of the Names of Minnesota’s fallen

4 PM  |  An Open Forum for Veterans by Veterans
led by Vietnam veterans Samuel Verdeja, Doug Bekke and Jerry Miron

with producer Luke Heikkila and veterans


10 AM  |  Reading of the Names of Minnesota’s fallen

4 PM  |  Public Commemoration
with speakers, flyover of Vietnam-era aircraft, and music

hosted by Kevin Kling & Cathy Wurzer, with music by J.D. Steele and MacPhail Center for Music
(tickets available at


11 AM  |  Beyond the Divide Screening & Discussion
with filmmaker Jan Selby

1 PM  |  Closing Ceremony 

3 PM  |  The Wall That Heals officially closed to the public

THANK YOU VOLUNTEERSPeople touching the Wall That Heals and creating a rubbing of a name.

Over 250 volunteers dedicated themselves to making this event a success. Volunteers helped visitors find names and do name rubbings on the Wall, explore exhibits in the Armory, bring cold water to visitors, and set up events. Many took the “night shift” and stayed up all night to help those visiting the Wall in the silent midnight hours. Their compassion, dedication and commitment made this event such a success!

Check out this infographic for some incredible stats on this incredible volunteer crew!


The Wall That Heals is a 3/4-scale replica of The Wall in Washington, D.C. This weekend will be the first time Minnesotans can experience this newer, larger replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Since it was unveiled in 1996, The Wall That Heals has visited more than 400 communities throughout the nation, spreading the Memorial’s healing legacy to millions. The Wall That heals honors more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and contains more than 58,000 names that are listed by casualty date.

For the first time in the history of The Wall That Heals, visitors will be able to make name rubbings of individual service member’s names. Paper and pencils will be provided.


We are honored to host The Wall That Heals in St. Paul this summer. It is a powerful opportunity to bring all Minnesotans together to experience the profound impact of the Vietnam War. It is also a chance to support one another in taking a step towards healing.
– Jim Pagliarini, TPT President and CEO


While visiting The Wall That Heals, visitors were invited to build deeper understanding about the lasting impact of the Vietnam War by attending additional daily experiences and special scheduled events listed below.


  • Mobile Education Center – An interactive exhibit of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial legacy and the collection of items left at The Wall That Heals.
  • Huey Helicopter – More than 10,000 Huey Helicopters were used by U.S. Armed Forces; Visitors were able to explore a static display of this iconic air craft up close. Sponsored by Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota.
  • Artist David Geister – Accomplished Minneapolis artist and Marine veteran David Geister captured this moment on canvas. Visitors checked in on his progress and talked about his process as he completed a painting of The Wall that Heals while on the grounds of our State Capitol; Some even had the chance to add a few brush strokes to the piece.
    Visitors learned how to fold a simple paper boat and helped build a collection of 1,000 paper boats as part of poet and book artist Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen’s paper memorial commemorating the lives lost during the Vietnamese refugee waves of 1954 and after The War in Vietnam and South East Asia, 1975-1992. Each boat represents a person who was unaccounted for, and will be remembered as part of an honoring and healing ritual on Lake Phalen on the last day of the Floating Library this summer.
  • Playing of Taps at The Wall – Taps was played every evening at 8:30 when the sun went down.


  • Minnesota Military Museum Exhibit – Visitors were able to handle Vietnam-era artifacts and look at uniform displays. Minnesota Military Museum staff and volunteers were on hand to provide interpretation and answer questions.
  • Tours of Minnesota’s Memorials – Visitors could sign up for free tours of Minnesota’s various memorials.
  • Documentary Screenings & Discussions – Visitors had opportunities all weekend to view some of the latest Minnesota Remembers Vietnam broadcast content.
  • Veterans’ Resource Area – Visitors enjoyed refreshments and connected with veterans while learning about resources for veterans and their families.
  • Share Your Story & Explore Others – With the help of our team, many added their voices to our growing archive of nearly 1,000 Vietnam War stories.


  • 9 AM  |  Opening Ceremony hosted by Don Shelby
    Join us to open The Wall That Heals weekend with a ceremony featuring the Minnesota National Guard Color Guard, a musical performance by Thomasina Petrus, poetry, and notable speakers.
  • 10 AM  |  Reading of the Names of Minnesota’s fallen
  • 5 PM  |  Literature on the War with J.A. Moad and the Minnesota Humanities Center (inside The Armory)
    Join veteran and performer J.A. Moad for a performance of some of his work and an engaging discussion about literature on the Vietnam War and how storytelling can connect us and build deeper understanding. 
  • 6 PM  |  MINNESOTA REMEMBERS VIETNAM: THE SECRET WAR Screening & Discussion (inside The Armory)
    In the shadows of the Vietnam War, the CIA conducted a secret war in Laos that relied on Hmong soldiers to prevent the threat of communism from spreading deeper into Southeast Asia. Tens of thousands died, both in the fight and in the escape. America’s Secret War explores the untold, turbulent history.


  • 10 AM  |  Reading of the Names of Minnesota’s fallen
  • 4 PM  |  A Forum for Veterans by Veterans
    All are welcomed to participate in an open forum to share stories and listen to stories about the Vietnam War, led by Vietnam veterans Samuel Verdeja (1st Battalion, 1st Marines), Doug Bekke (Special Forces, U.S. Army) and Jerry Miron (41st Scout Dog Platoon, U.S. Army).
  • 6 PM  |  MINNESOTA REMEMBERS VIETNAM: PERSPECTIVES Screening & Discussion (inside The Armory)
    Join TPT producer Luke Heikkila to watch a collection of Minnesota perspectives on going to Vietnam, experiencing combat, coming home, and life after the war. Following the one-hour film screening will be a discussion with several of the veteran and family members featured in the film.


  • 10 AM  |  Reading of the Names of Minnesota’s fallen
  • 4 PM  |  Public Commemoration
    We will gather as a community to honor those who served and are currently serving, in a public commemoration featuring guest speakers, music from the Minnesota National Guard Brass Quintet, and a narrated fly-over of Vietnam-era aircraft including a Huey Helicopter.
  • 7-9 PM  |  MINNESOTA REMEMBERS VIETNAM: EPILOGUE (at The Ordway Center for Performing Arts; tickets available at
    Hosted by Kevin Kling & Cathy Wurzer, with music by J.D. Steele and the MacPhail Center for Music. You won’t want to miss this evening of powerful storytelling featuring familiar faces from the Minnesota Remembers Vietnam initiative and original pieces created for the event by storytelling legend Kevin Kling. Music will complement the evening’s stories that will take us on a journey through the Vietnam War and will show us new ways to think about that tumultuous time and perhaps even offer a step towards healing.

Black, white and red ad with photos advertising a performance.

EPILOGUE draws from some of the most compelling stories & lessons of our year-long Minnesota Remembers Vietnam initiative. Join us as we explore the Vietnam War and its enduring legacy through music and stories from a mix of Minnesotans.

Kevin Kling, Cathy Wurzer and J.D. Steele will take to the Ordway stage to lead a dozen storytellers in a show that moves from remembrance toward reconciliation; with just a hint of revival for good measure.


As Wayne Dionne notes in his Story Wall submission, “the power of the Vietnam Wall is real.”
We’ve assembled this collection of stories relating to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and The Wall That Heals
in order to convey some of that power.

Media on this page courtesy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and DLG Photography.

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