Emotions were high as service members and supporters attended the opening ceremony for The Wall That Heals. More than 58,000 names are inscribed in the granite.
Those with loved ones who were lost spent moments in solitude — honoring them for their sacrifice. However, Vietnam veterans themselves have said that these walls cannot mend all wounds, unfortunately.
“The wall doesn’t heal, it helps you cope. The damage that has been done to most Vietnam veterans, post traumatic stress disorders, you can’t cure it. But, you can learn to live with it and walls like this help it,” said Kennith Kensill, Vietnam veteran.
“I was at my mom’s the day we got the news about him. We looked out the window and saw that military car. Anytime you see the military car, you know something is wrong,” said Annabelle Ponder-Nelson, sister of Willie L. Ponder.
She said she was happy that the memorial came into town to honor her brother as well as other patriots.
“It’s so nice that they take the time to remember that somebody was willing to fight for, to go that far, to fight for our country and to make sure that we stayed safe over here,” Ponder-Nelson said.
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The service concluded with a 21 gun salute and Taps, performed by local service members. The Wall That Heals will be open for public viewing through Memorial Day.