More than 100 people took part in a rolling roadblock in Fort Myers Thursday morning to bring in the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall.
In a country with many memorials, the memorial wall has a special meaning to many people.
Mike Brophy, an Army veteran, served in Vietnam. He was one of the escorts guiding the memorial wall to its temporary home at Jet Blue Park. Brophy told WINK News he is bringing his friends to their final resting spot in a symbolic way.
“To see some of your friends’ names from your unit, from your hometown, on there when they say it’s moving,” Brophy said, “it’s a very moving experience it.”
Kevin Boyd, post commander of the American Legion in Fort Myers, is a Navy veteran. His brother fought in Vietnam and survived. But not without his scars.
“I remember one day getting up my brother wasn’t sleeping on the bed,” Boyd said. “He was sleeping on the floor with a machete under his pillow. I didn’t know what that meant.”
But, many did not return home.
Marine veteran, Richard Wedge, was wounded while serving our country. He came to see his friend’s name. For Wedge and countless others, the traveling wall, which is a replica of the one permanently in Washington, D.C., is a way to pay their respects to veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
The memorial will go on display this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8, at JetBlue Park as part of the 100th-anniversary celebration of American Legion Post 38.
The public is invited to come and not only see the wall but interact with it and connect with the memory of more than 58,000 fallen American heroes listed on the memorial.
Also, a Hughes Helicopter 0H-6A model will be on display. The model is the type of helicopter used to fly some of the most dangerous missions in Vietnam.
The wall will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.