Podcast: Methuen Readies for the Arrival of the Wall That Heals

“The Wall That Heals” in 2017 at Haverhill High School, Monument Street. (Frank Komola photograph for WHAV News.)

Preparations are well underway in Methuen for the arrival of The Wall That Heals, honoring those that served and sacrificed in the Vietnam War.

Methuen Veterans Services Officer Paul Jensen, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program, says The Wall arrives Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Methuen.

“The Wall That Heals is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Its 375 feet in length and stands seven and a half feet high at its tallest point and it’s the same design as the wall in Washington. It has the chevron-type design. It has LED lighting at night. You can rub names off it just as you can in Washington D. C.,” he says.

The Wall’s arrival is also ceremonial.

“The Wall comes in a large van that also serves as an education center. We will meet up over on Merrimack Street in Methuen and then we will have a motorcycle escort at 12 noon which will go down Merrimack Street, down Pleasant Valley Street and eventually get to Pelham Street where the location is. Then on Wednesday, Sept. 28, we start at eight in the morning. It takes about six hours to set the wall up. We have about 40 to 50 volunteers from the community that assist with the setup of the wall. At 2 p.m. we open for business.”

Jensen says The Wall That Heals will have an opening ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 9 a.m., at Pfc. Richard E. Potter Field, 125 Pelham St., Methuen. It closes Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m., allowing volunteers to prepare it for its next stop in Sayre, Penn.

Potter’s Field is next to the Park & Ride on Pelham Street in Methuen. Jensen says visitors will have the same emotional response, as though they were visiting the Wall in Washington, D.C. The Wall is free and open to the public, 24 hours a day during its visit. There’s more online at CityOfMethuen.net.

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