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375-foot Vietnam Memorial Wall to set up at Rusch Park this month

Stock photo, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Updated March 13, 5:58 p.m.–
By Sara Beth Williams– A traveling “Wall That Heals” Vietnam memorial will be making a stop at Rusch Park in Citrus Heights, beginning March 30.

According to retired American Legion Post 637 spokesman Paul Reyes, the mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. will arrive on Tuesday, March 28, and will be open to the public beginning March 30 at Rusch Community Park. An opening ceremony is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. on March 29.

The memorial wall will be open to the public 24 hours a day and will continue through April 2 at 2 p.m., Reyes told The Sentinel in an email. The City Council last year voted unanimously to approve a $10,000 grant to help cover costs associated with bringing the wall to Citrus Heights.

Reyes, who is a retired Marine Corp gunnery sergeant, began the application process required to host the wall in July last year. In September, he said confirmation had been received that Citrus Heights had been chosen to host the wall.

“I feel proud and overjoyed that we were chosen and I hope it is something that reverberates throughout the region,” Reyes said, adding that there are 58,281 reasons he chose to petition to have the wall brought to Citrus Heights, because there are 58,281 names on the wall.

The traveling replica has been displayed in over 700 communities across the United States since its unveiling in 1996, according to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s website.

The mobile wall is a three-quarter scale replica of the original memorial, measuring at 375 feet in length and seven-and-a-half feet high.

The traveling exhibit includes a mobile education center, and its goal is to give veterans who cannot travel to Washington, D.C. the “strength and courage” to face the names on the Wall in order to find healing.

The education exhibit includes displays of photos of local heroes and honored veterans, a replica of an “In Memory” plaque, a map of Vietnam, and a timeline of the war and the original Wall. Visitors also have the opportunity to make rubbings of individual service member names.

Rusch Community Park is located at 7801 Auburn Blvd in Citrus Heights.

A full list of the schedule of events surrounding The Wall That Heals’ visit to Citrus Heights is posted at Volunteers are also being sought to work four-hour shifts at the event to assist and welcome visitors.

*Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include the correct number of names on the wall, along with an updated time for the opening ceremony.

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