May 22, 2018
The Johns Creek City Council announced that the community will become the permanent home for the recently retired The Wall That Heals
, Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica that visited the city March 29 – April 2, 2017. The Wall That Heals,
a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, honors the more than three million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed forces in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It bears the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam.
“The City Council and I are thrilled that our community has been awarded The Wall That Heals
and we are looking forward to adding it to our already impressive Veterans Memorial Walk,” said Mayor Mike Bodker. “From being named a ‘Purple Heart City,’ to the many veterans activities that take place throughout the year, Johns Creek prides itself as a patriotic community that supports and honors our veterans.”
The Wall That Heals
is a program of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), the nonprofit organization which built The Wall in Washington, D.C. The recently retired Wall replica had been on the road for more than 10 years and visited more than 250 cities across America. When retiring a replica, VVMF allows for communities to bid to be the permanent home. Johns Creek’s proposal to place The Wall That Heals
in its Veterans Memorial Walk included a full maintenance plan, and a monetary bid of $80,000.
“We looked at many factors when deciding what community would be awarded our retiring Wall replica and we couldn’t be more pleased to award The Wall That Heals
to Johns Creek. We were warmly welcomed here during our 2017 visit and shown how much the community cares about our Vietnam veterans and their families. We know Johns Creek will give The Wall That Heals
the proper respect it deserves,” said Jim Knotts, president and CEO of VVMF.
The bid for The Wall That Heals
was made possible by the Johns Creek Convention and Visitors Bureau (JCCVB), and through a generous donation from local residents John and Cori Davenport. The former city Councilwoman and her husband are also the largest donors to Johns Creek’s 4-acre Veterans Memorial Walk located in Newtown Park, which is one of the largest veterans’ memorials in the nation.
“We greatly appreciate all that the Davenports do to support our veterans, and to help the City of Johns Creek demonstrate our deep respect and gratitude for those who have served and sacrificed for our nation,” said Bodker.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is one of the most visited memorials in the nation’s capital, with more than 5.2 million visitors each year. However, many Americans have not been able to visit what has become known to many simply as “The Wall.”
Once Johns Creek has The Wall permanently installed, veterans and their families, and many others around the region, will have an easier and more convenient way to visit the memorial as often as they like or need.
More than 8,500 people visited The Wall That Heals during its stop in Johns Creek in 2017, which included a motorcycle escort from the Patriot Guard, and several veterans’ ceremonies. Details related to the arrival date of The Wall That Heals have yet to be worked, but the city and the JCCVB intend to conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony once it is installed and ready for public viewing.
“We are honored to partner with the City to bring this meaningful new asset to Johns Creek,” said Lynda Lee Smith, JCCVB Chairwoman. “The Wall that Heals will be a great addition to the Veterans Memorial Walk, creating a truly unique experience for both visitors and residents.”
The 2017 visit of The Wall That Heals to Johns Creek can be viewed here