Citrus Heights Sentinel Logo

Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall replica set up in Citrus Heights

The Wall That Heals is shown set up Wednesday night at Rusch Park, lit up for round-the-clock viewing. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
City leaders joined veterans and community members at an opening ceremony for The Wall that Heals on Wednesday night at Rusch Park.

The traveling three-quarter-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans memorial in Washington D.C. was assembled Wednesday through the efforts of more than 25 volunteers and military personnel.

Site manager Tim Tetz said the process went smoothly, and he is grateful to the city and the Sunrise Recreation and Parks District for their help in bringing the memorial to Citrus Heights. He said the wall will be open to visitors around-the-clock until Sunday, April 2.

“One of the magical things about The Wall That Heals is… we were able — when we built this in 2018 — to put modern lights on it,” said Tetz. “And this just looks absolutely incredible at night.”

Visitor to the wall, Carmichael resident Jim Byrnes, told The Sentinel he came to see the name of his brother, Robert Scott Byrnes, on the memorial.

“We need to teach people about the past,” Byrnes said. “During the Vietnam time, it was a very bad time. They were not respected. And now they’re getting the recognition which they need.”

Visitor Alfonso Martinez said his father was a veteran of Korea, and he has brothers who served in Vietnam. Many of Martinez’s friends from Foothill High School never returned from Vietnam, he said.

“It’s just nice that they’re being recognized and that they’re doing this,” Alfonzo said. “It’s a big production. So, to get the wall here is fantastic.”

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.

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.

Rusch Community Park is located at 7801 Auburn Blvd in Citrus Heights. A closing ceremony for the event is slated for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)