DURHAM (CBS) — Those that came to the replica of the Vietnam Wall in Durham, New Hampshire, made the journey for many different reasons; but mostly to honor, to remember, and to learn.
Bleu Kelowy is a Vietnam War veteran.
“It’s my first time. I haven’t seen the real wall,” he said. “It’s been hard, very hard. Tough years they were.”
Some looked for the names of those they knew.
“I found a couple of names of people I served with,” said John Jenkins. “It’s hard.”
Melissa Carter shared, “My grandfather died in Vietnam, so I decided to come out with my kids and in-laws.”
The moving wall is a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. The names of more than 58-thousand men and women who lost their lives in the Vietnam War are etched on it.
Those names also brought memories to the surface.
“The smell, the heat, the rain, I don’t know, just it’s a lot, just is a lot,” said Kelowy.
Many of those tough memories came from after the war when soldiers returned home.
Jenkins explained, “I served my country, got shot at and bombed, and come home and I’m regarded as a criminal.”
“I mean, it was like ten years before I even told anyone I was in; you just totally denied it,” said Kelowy.
The wall pays tribute to those who have long waited for respect.
“I’m glad they are having special ceremonies for us. Welcome home,” said Jenkins.
For others, the wall was only the beginning.
It is to “teach my children that [my grandfather] was important, and the war was important,” said Carter.
She added, “[I am] sad but really proud.”
The moving wall helps bring the memorial to those who are unable to see it in Washington D.C. Two replicas that travel across the country.
The memorial will be at the University of New Hampshire until Monday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
The moving wall is scheduled to be in Wareham, MA August 17th through August 21st.