Imitation Is The Highest Form of Flattery By Jan C. Scruggs, Esq.

I have always enjoyed this quote. The words seem accurate enough. After all, there is no reason for most people to strive to be creative. It is easy enough to merely observe a successful approach to a problem and mimic it. Of course, this is why we have copyright and trademark laws. We can’t have people stealing ideas, inventions or art that others have created and exploiting the work of others for their own use.

With all of that as background, have you ever heard of a work of art being copied and transported around the 50 states, Guam and even London, England? I sure have. There are a number of replicas of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial touring Americas cities. One replica is actually 3/4 scale and known as the Dignity Wall. Others are half-scale. One permanent half-size replica, the Wall South, is in Pensacola. It is hard to keep track of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial replicas. There is only one affiliated with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

It is fascinating, even amazing, that replicas of a work of art, The Wall, actually travel the nation on a daily basis — three decades after the dedication in 1982.  Are there replicas of the Pyramids, the St Louis Arch or the Eiffel Tower on tour?  Not really. The Wall is important not because of its unique and powerful architectural style, but because of what it represents. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is truly The Wall That Heals. The healing power of the Memorial comes to cities and towns for local people to learn and experience.

The Wall That Heals” is on its way to Orlando, Florida and the town is excited and engaged. The number of motorcycle groups welcoming the replica to Orlando is extraordinary. The Mayor is coming out to say a few words. Other officials are helping to welcome the Wall and, as well, to welcome home the Vietnam Veterans. As with everything we do, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan will be a part of the activities. They are now returning and need to begin their lives and careers as civilians.

The primary mission of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is the completion of the Education Center at The Wall. This is a place where America will celebrate the service of those who have risked their lives in time of war. There will be a special emphasis on showing appreciation to the most recent veterans. See www.buildthecenter.org to learn more.

We are working to raise funds and the grassroots effort nationwide is helping in many ways.  In Hawaii, a volunteer named Janna Hoehn worked diligently to collect all the photographs of the 42 servicemen who gave their lives from the island of Maui. The photos will be displayed in the Education Center. Raising money is a primary goal. Among those helping include General Neal Creighton, US Army (Retired), who raised money from his classmates of West Point. In Colorado, Neal Stanley, a former medic is Vietnam, has raised over $100,000 in the Denver area. Many people are assisting and we invite everyone to give us a hand by organizing or by making a donation. In November we intend to break ground.

If you are in the area of Orlando, please stop by to see us — a schedule of events is enclosed:

The Wall the Heals Arrives in Orlando

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the City of Orlando are bringing The Wall that Heals, a traveling half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to downtown Orlando January 16 through 22. The Wall and traveling museum will be featured at the northeast corner of Lake Eola Park, on the corner of E. Robinson Street and N. Eola Drive.

For more information on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund please visit: www.vvmf.org and www.buildthecenter.org

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