Blythewood to Host War Memorial

The Wall that Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be featured at Doko Park in Blythewood Memorial Day weekend.

The Wall that Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be featured at Doko Park in Blythewood Memorial Day weekend.

BLYTHEWOOD (Jan. 28, 2016) – Before signing a contract for $7,500 to bring The Wall that Heals to Doko Park in Blythewood this Memorial Day, Town Council put out a call for a large number of volunteers from the community that will be required to make the mega event possible.

“It’s a big undertaking, but it’s a big deal for our town,” Councilman Eddie Baughman said.

The contract calls for the exhibit to be open 24 hours a day from May 26 – 30, with approximately 140 volunteers to work 4- or 6-hour shifts. The Town is required by the contract to also provide round-the-clock security and emergency medical service during the event.

Baughman, a Vietnam War veteran, suggested last fall that Council bring The Wall to Blythewood. The exhibit features a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The chevron-shaped Wall is made up of 24 panels that will stretch across approximately 250 feet of lawn in the park next to Town Hall. The Wall is accompanied by a mobile Education Center that tells the story of the Vietnam War and the era surrounding the conflict and includes displays of photos of service members whose names are found on The Wall, along with letters and memorabilia left at The Wall in Washington, D.C. The Center also includes a map of Vietnam and a chronological overview of the conflict.

Hazel Kelly, a Town Hall employee, will receive training to serve as the Town’s representative to organize and oversee the event which will be paid for out of the Town’s Hospitality Tax fund. As many as 20,000 people could visit The Wall while it is in Blythewood, Baughman told Council last month.

Council voted unanimously to accept the contract. Those who would like to volunteer to help with the event should contact Kelly at 754-0501.

In other business, Council unanimously adopted amendments to the Landscape, Buffer Yard and Tree Preservation Ordinance that would ease previous requirements for tree studies and replanting. It also adopted the 2015 Comprehensive Plan and an Ordinance annexing property located at 355 Langford Road.

Council members also decided to discuss at a future meeting whether to continue to sponsor a New Year’s Eve fireworks event since the weather has not cooperated the last two years. They also postponed finalizing a policy regarding presentation of Keys to the Town.

Town Council will hold their annual retreat on Saturday, March 5 at the Langford Nord House at McNulty and Main streets in downtown Blythewood. The public is invited.