“Dear Vietnam Veteran” Manchester CT Town Hall Displays ‘Wall of Healing’ Keepsakes
Posted on January 16, 2016
Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
“Dear Vietnam Veteran Thank you. We are sorry for the loss of your friends and comrades .. Thank you for your service and your bravery…” A note with this message is positioned proudly and prominently in a showcase in the Manchester, Connecticut town hall. The showcase contains a tribute of mementos left beside “The Wall That Heals”, a traveling Vietnam Memorial that came to town in October, 2015.
Immediately behind the note, with the American flag as a backdrop and surrounded by white candles, blended together in an oblong bowl are “all petals from flowers left at the wall”. It is an especially touching sight as one pauses to imagine the hands that placed the flowers.
Located on an upper level, a glimpse of the showcase is visible from below, at the center staircase. When the speeches about the war were over this past autumn and the crowd dispersed, from wee morning hours through the dark of night, private moments of remembrance took place. From poppies handmade by schoolchildren, to letters written home from the soldiers, to photographs, the keepsakes at the memorial were collected and neatly placed in this showcase.
It is clear that left behind by those who came to grieve for, or honor the lives lost, were more than mere momentos – left behind were pieces of the heart.
Manchester Town Hall, 41 Center Street, Manchester, CT. Currently also on display through February on the main level is an art exhibit by the Manchester Art Association. As well, “The Wall That Heals” t- shirts are being sold at the Customer Service Center just inside the front town hall entrance.