A nearly life-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will be the centerpiece of Tamastslikt Cultural Institute’s upcoming exhibit honoring veterans. 

The institute on the Umatilla Indian Reservation will open “Honoring Our Veterans” on Oct. 20 with a 3-day display of the American Veterans Traveling Tribute’s Traveling Wall. The institute will install the wall as an outdoor exhibit that will be open to the public free of charge.

The wall is an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The 370-foot long, eight-foot high replica contains more than 58,000 names of Americans who died or were missing in action in Vietnam, including the names of more than 800 Oregonians.

Honoring Our Veterans, which continues through Jan. 14, 2012, will be on display in the Temporary Gallery and focuses on the world wars and major eras of U.S. military engagement, chronicling the history of Indian scouts up through Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

“While the focus is on American Indian veterans, Honoring Our Veterans examines the big picture, the overall wartime experience of the nation and the community, Indians and non-Indians alike,” said Randall Melton, collections curator for Tamastslikt.

The exhibit also will profile more than 30 veteran groups in the region, and the outdoor exhibit will include memorials to 9/11, the present-day campaigns of Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, World War II and the Korean War.

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