FORT ASHBY – “We just want people to come and be a part of this historic event,” said Frank Roleff, as Boyce Houser Post 41 American Legion completes its mission to bring the Wall That Heals to the area next week.

By Ronda Wertman
Tribune Correspondent
FORT ASHBY – “We just want people to come and be a part of this historic event,” said Frank Roleff, as Boyce Houser Post 41 American Legion completes its mission to bring the Wall That Heals to the area next week.
“About two years ago, we decided that we were going to apply to get the Wall That Heals in Mineral County,” said Roleff, noting that the request was approved and efforts began to raise the $7,500 sponsor fee.
It was September 2017 that the date was set for next week’s exhibit, which begins with an escort from the County Club Mall in LaVale at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
“We would like to have as many people come out as possibly can,” Roleff said as the convoy enters West Virginia crossing the Memorial Bridge with a West Virginia State and Keyser City Police and motorcycle escort.
“We think this is going to be a significant event for the area,” he added, noting that this is the first time the three-quarter size Wall That Heals is being displayed in West Virginia.
Travelling Route 46 out of Keyser, the Wall That Heals is expected to arrive the fairgrounds around 3 p.m.
Beginning early morning on Oct. 10, the walk through will be held to determine the location for set up, which will be completed to open to the public at 4 p.m.
Once set up, the wall will be open 24 hours a day from 4 p.m. Oct. 10 to 2 p.m. Oct. 14.
The opening ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in front of the Wall That Heals.
Brigadier General Christopher S. Walker of the West Virginia Air National Guard will be the guest speaker.
The hour-long ceremony will include recognition of all Vietnam Veterans in attendance by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), while the Gold Star Mothers will be on hand to recognize the families those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice from not just Mineral County, but also the surrounding area.
A list of those killed in Vietnam from the area will be available and efforts are underway to get pictures of each soldier named on the Wall That Heals.
Like The Wall in Washington, The Wall That Heals was created so that visitors can make a rubbing of the names.
The Wall That Heals replica is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point. Visitors experience The Wall rising above them as they walk towards the apex, a key feature of the design of The Wall in D.C.
Those who have visited The Wall have noted that it’s “automatically a somber occasion” as a show of gratitude and respect.
This is something that will be passed on to students and adults as they visit the exhibit and learn from the education center about the war, those honor roll and the significance of those items left at the wall in honor of loved ones.
The Wall That Heals is sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund VVMF is the nonprofit organization dedicated to all who served with the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War.
All funds raised locally after expenses will be donated to the WWMF.