The Wall That Heals Opens in Ocean View
OCEAN VIEW, Del.- There are just two more days left to see the traveling, three-quarter-sized replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall while it's in Sussex County. The Wall That Heals opened to the public on Thursday. It will be in town until Sunday afternoon.
More than 58,000 names of those who gave their lives during the Vietnam War are overlooking the Indian River Bay for the weekend.
"Donnie was with us that day," Sgt. Frank Bolen with the Ocean View VFW said as he read his friends' names. "Eddie was with us. There were five all together that got killed that day, April 7. We had a big battle."
Bolen has helped build The Wall That Heals during its travels in years past. Putting it together at the Ocean View VFW marks his fifth time.
"If another wall came tomorrow, I'd be right there helping them," he said.
More than 100 Vietnam War Veterans spent about six hours on Wednesday to build the wall. Some even had the honor of placing the panels that carry the names of their friends.
"I always put up the same panel," said Bolen.
The Wall That Heals is on an annual cross-country journey. While it's in Ocean View, people like Michael & Valerie Dugdale can learn from this mobile exhibit and pay their respects to these fallen soldiers 24/7.
"It took a long time for people to realize that they are veterans and should be observed," said Valerie.
The temporary hosts can all find familiar names nearby.
"Most of us here of the older crowd now are Vietnam Veterans," said Senior Vice Commander Hal Dietrech. "There's not too many WWII. There's a few Korean veterans."
The names on the wall will be honored all weekend long. A candlelight ceremony takes place Saturday at 7 p.m. and a closing ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday. Then the wall moves on to its next destination: Indiana, Pa.