- Local veterans have been anticipating the arrival of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall for over 15 months. After fundraising tens of thousands of dollars and planning for more than a year, the traveling wall is in Eagle River.
Greg Welsh, the manager of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall says the replica of the monument, "helps a lot of guys see the wall for the first time and it starts the healing process...For a lot of people thatís a lot of guys that need the healing process to start from what happened so many years ago."
After three days of traveling, the wall now sits in its 76th location since it was completed in 2006. Organizers want Vietnam veterans Ė and all veterans Ė to feel appreciated.
Todd Achterberg, the chair of the committee that brought the wall to Eagle River, says he does not "think [Vietnam veterans] had the reception they deserved. I donít think we can fix that, but I think that every little bit helps."
It was a costly and time-consuming undertaking to bring the memorial wall to Eagle River, but it means a lot to local veterans.
American Legion Riders District 11 member Don Reed says, "To members of the military who have served not only in Vietnam but also the present wars, itís quite a thing for all of us."
He also says the wall "is a sobering experience [but] it will be well worth your time."
Welsh echoes Reed's statement, "The price of freedom is written on the wall. It kind of says it all."
The wall will be assembled on Friday and will open to the public on Saturday. It will be open daily from 8AM to 8PM and will run through July 4th.
Organizers say they will have a list of Vilas County veterans who died in the Vietnam War. Visitors will be able to find their names on the memorial.
|Story By: Lauren Stephenson