Honor. Courage. Sacrifice.
Memorials are a vital part in society, a way to show gratitude and pay respect toward those who gave everything for us to be where we are today. In 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) built the original traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and coined it The Wall That Heals. Traveling from city to city, the memorial is a statement piece that brings not only communities, but a nation together. As you can imagine, this mobile memorial is exposed to more wear and tear than most, which results in an estimated lifespan of 10 years, before the need to rebuild. The opportunity presented itself for a new material solution.
Avonite Surfaces® solid surface, a brand of Aristech Surfaces, provided a durable, reflective and a lighter weight material answer for The Wall That Heals. Durability was their main concern due to this replica being scheduled to travel to almost 40 communities a year and touching the lives of over 250,000 visitors. The depth and beauty of our color Eclipse 8240 offered additional product benefits as weatherproof, non-porous, UV resistant and hygienic qualities.
Families visiting will have the ability to do a name rubbing on the wall, similar to the original memorial in Washington DC, a way to remember their loved ones. Avonite Surfaces® solid surface sheets were fabricated with a high gloss finish, displaying a reflective product quality expected for this memorial. Also, solid surface is much lighter than other materials such as granite or quartz, which helped in the mobility of The Wall That Heals.
To participate in this project was a special, humbling occasion that doesn't come around often. We played a small, yet significant role in achieving the VVMF vision. Stretching 375 feet long and standing 7 and half tall at its highest point, the magnitude and sheer scale is breath-taking. Our driven teams were able to come together and meet the tight deadlines that were faced by the master fabricator, H. Loeb Corporation. Tim Maiuri, Aristech Surfaces TSM, lead contact on the project coordinated production/shipment in record time and received high praise from VVMF. “(Aristech Surfaces)… commended for your superlative work.” stated by Tim Tetz, Director of Outreach at VVMF.
Passion powered this meaningful project into existence from all parties involved. From manufacturing the 140 sheets of Avonite Surfaces® in our Florence, Kentucky plant, to the fabrication, finishing and CNC routing of over 58,000 names by H. Loeb Corporation in New Bedford, New York, this remarkable memorial was completed in an impressive 8-week timeline.
When we were asked by H. Loeb Corporation to provide our solid surface as the material, we realized quickly, this wasn’t just another project. It was an honor knowing that our product would be used for such a powerful memorial that affects millions. A truly humbling experience, one that words can't describe. We are honored to be able to represent our nation, make a lasting impact with our material and to help show respect to the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you."