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The Wall That Heals Comes to Maui

Hawai`i residents who want to pay tribute to American servicemembers who served and died in the Vietnam War can do so at The Wall That Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Wall That Heals will be on display 24 hours a day from Feb. 9 to Feb. 13 at the War Memorial Stadium. Volunteers will put the wall together after its arrival at Maui Harbor on Feb. 7 and escort by motorcycle clubs to the stadium.

Thousands of people visited the exhibit in Hilo last month. The official replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation is making its first trip to Hawai`i. Maui organizers are still looking for volunteers to help staff The Wall, go to for more information.

The 25th Infantry Division from Schofield deployed to Vietnam in 1966 and the29th Infantry Brigade of the Hawai`i National Guard were also sent into battle.

A visit to The Wall That Heals is emotional for families of servicemembers who died during the war, especially for those who haven’t been able to visit the actual memorial in Washington, D.C.

“I have never been to Washington D.C. to see the actual wall so when it came here it was like a good opportunity for my wife and I to come and see my uncle’s name,” said Kamran Fujimoto, whose uncle Lester Alipio died in Vietnam. “It’s sad to see so many names, not only my uncle’s name but so many names. It spoke volumes to me. I can do what I do today partly because of all these names on The Wall. I’m proud to see my uncle’s name on The Wall.”

Teresa Fuata, whose father served two tours in Vietnam, helped bring The Wall That Heals to Hawai`I after traveling to Washington D.C. for a ceremony to honor veterans who returned home from Vietnam, but died later from the effects of the war. Her father’s service is recognized with a small memorial next to The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. and an online register of names. A replica of the In Memory memorial is also at The Wall That Heals exhibit, as are photos of “Hometown Heroes,” servicemembers from Hawai`i whose names are on The Wall.

“This is the first time the Wall’s ever been to Hawai`i,” Fuata said. “So this is for him (her father) all of the In Memory program honorees and the other names on The Wall.”

“AARP is a supporter of The Wall That Heals because we support veterans,” said Craig Gima, AARP Hawai`i Communications Director. “It’s an emotional exhibit. It’s called The Wall That Heals because veterans who came back from the war, they didn’t always get a welcome home and this in a lot of ways is their welcome home. This is a chance to pay tribute and say thank you.”

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