NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — A traveling replica of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial is making a stop in Eastern North Carolina.
It’s called the Wall That Heals. It’s a three-quarter scale replica of Washington D.C.’s Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. The traveling wall is making its first stop on the tour in New Bern.
“Those men and women that never came back need to be honored,” said Gary Gillette, chairman of Craven County’s Veteran’s Council and a veteran. “I was in the Air Force. I enlisted back in 1967. I was only 17 and my mother had to sign for the approval to go in.”
Gillette was stationed in Vietnam, starting in 1968.
“Back then we didn’t get the recognition that soldiers are rightfully getting today,” he said.
There are more than 58,000 names on the traveling wall. Of those names, 77 belong to people in ENC.
“It shows all the men and women who served and sacrificed, given their all for our country,” said Gillette.
Gillette knows some of the names.
“I have some friends from high school that also served and never came back, as well as some friends that I knew while I was in the military,” he said.
Gillette is encouraging everyone to visit the wall before it moves to another state.
“This is a way of saying thank you to all of those men and women,” said Gillette. “Recognize those who have served and given that ultimate sacrifice and just give them that recognition in honoring them.”
The wall that heals is open 24/7 until Sunday at 2 p.m. The opening ceremony will take place Thursday evening.