Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Brings Celebration Of Veterans Day Even Closer To Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/11/07-Palestine

Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Brings Celebration Of Veterans Day Even Closer To Home

"Every place we go is different, and every place we go is the same," said Gregg Welsh.  "People are just grateful that it's here."  Welsh, a Vietnam War Veteran, is the wall manager for the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, a three-fifths scale, 288 feet long replica of the D.C. memorial.   

Even though it's a traveling memorial, the wall is already making lasting impressions. Welsh said he's seen many people shed tears during their visits. 

"It's for the people," said Welsh.  "It's for the people that know the names on there.  It's for the people that don't know the names on there."  Many people shed tears in honor of those who served during the war, people reconnecting to fathers, grandfathers, husbands and friends, and loved ones whose names are now a reflection of sacrifice.  

"My dad was my absolute hero, finest man I ever knew," said Donna Corb of Palestine.  "I'm very thankful that there is a memorial for the heroes that have fought for our freedom."  Many celebrate those heroes, not just on Veterans Day, but everyday.  

"It's taken more than one day to get us what we have," said Welsh.  "It surely would take more than one day to remember the sacrifices that were made." 

"It gives you an opportunity to really catch the spirit of what the wall is all about, the emotions that are wrapped up in it with the people that we knew, the people we served with, and those that died," said Vietnam Veteran Phil Beckmon.  Their names are on the wall, along with thousands of others, names bringing together a nation of people.  Beckmon said he still gets teary-eyed whenever he sees Old Glory waving in the wind. 

"I think that we need to try to get that spirit back in America," said Beckmon.  The traveling wall is sponsored by the VVB (Vietnam and all Veterans of Brevard) of Brevard County, Florida.  It will be open for public visitation through Monday.  The wall will be dismantled, Tuesday morning headed to its next location, Port Arthur, Texas.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.  llivingston@kltv.com 

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