Traveling Vietnam War Memorial makes stop in North Carolina

Visitors to the Wall That Heals bring sentiment and reflection


ASHEBORO – They came for many reasons, but those gathering across several days at The Wall that Heals had something in common.

They wanted to recognize the sacrifices of Vietnam War veterans and pay tributes to the military in general.

The Wall that Heals was set up on the South Asheboro Middle School baseball field from last Wednesday through early Sunday afternoon.

“It’s more than I expected,” said Shawn Parrish, a Randleman resident who had served in the Air Force.

Asheboro’s Carlene and Renee Corder arrived with a specific purpose: to honor Charles R. Chriscoe, who grew up with Carlene in the Seagrove community.

“It’s a lot of names,” Carlene Corder said after finding Chriscoe’s name on the wall.

The Wall that Heals is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington that travels around the country. The names of 58,281 men and women who died in the Vietnam War are listed.

Ken Watson, Martha Trogdon Watson and Eddie Trogdon hold up a sign honoring fallen family member Ronald G. Trogdon.
Ken Watson, Martha Trogdon Watson and Eddie Trogdon hold up a sign honoring fallen family member Ronald G. Trogdon.

“It’s something you should come and see if you can’t go to Washington,” Renee Corder said.

Rita Honeycutt, a veteran service officer for Randolph County Veterans Services, said having the wall in Randolph County was special.

“We’ve tried to push it out as much as possible to get the word out,” Honeycutt said. “A lot of veterans can’t get to Washington to experience it.”

Honeycutt said state Sen. David Craven Jr., who spoke during the opening ceremony, was heavily involved in supporting the bid to bring the wall to Asheboro and obtaining corresponding sponsorships.

The grounds were open to visitors around the clock for 96 hours. Group tours with a short program were available — for instance, those were conducted at 10:30 p.m. Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday upon demand. It was free to attend.

Over 1,000 people visited The Wall That Heals and its museum and mobile education center, set up outside the middle school, during its first two days in Randolph County. Using a database of deceased veterans, volunteers helped visitors locate specific names on the wall.

Honeycutt said the application process to have the wall visit Asheboro began in April 2023. Her office learned of the bid’s acceptance in November and has worked on many details since then.

Earlier last week, The Wall that Heals was escorted by perhaps up to 200 motorcyclists representing American Legion Riders, Combat Veteran Riders, AmVet Riders and others from Creekside Park in Archdale to Asheboro, where it was assembled with the assistance of some Vietnam War veterans.

“I was always interested in going to the Wall,” said Parrish, an Air Force veteran who visited with his son and daughter.

Chris and Joanne Corsbie of Asheboro stopped by to reflect on that era and the commitments made by so many.

“We were both in high school during the Vietnam War, and we wanted to support this,” Joanne Corsbie said. “We knew people who fought. Fortunately, they came home.”

“What I really like about this is its continued recognition of these folks,” Chris Corsbie said. “I was very impressed.”

Asheboro was the only site in North Carolina for The Wall that Heals among 33 communities nationally in 2024. The next stop for The Wall that Heals is in Biddeford, Maine.