Posted: Oct 13, 2011 7:14 PM by Chris Welty
Updated: Oct 13, 2011 7:15 PM
Friday, the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall officially opens at the Louisiana Oil and Gas Park in Jennings.
Over the past several days, veterans and volunteers have been working non-stop constructing the 144 foot 310 feet wide wall. Bringing this memorial to Jennings though was no easy task.
"It has been ongoing for a year," said Mike Smith, Vice President of Chapter 1058 of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
The wall is especially emotional for veterans. For some, it gives them a sense of peace.
"That's a wall of heroes. we guys that came back, we are servicemen that did our duty. My fellow brothers and sisters here, that's the real heroes," said Smith.
"I've got a couple of guys that didn't make it back," said Cliff Gillespie a Vietnam Veteran.
Not only is this wall stirring up a lot of emotions for these veterans and their families, but it is also being used as an educational tool for the community.
Emmalena Guidry brought her daughter to the memorial to tell her about the sacrifices that were made for our country and the reasons that our country is free today.
"In the days that we came home, we were scorned. we were not treated as servicemen, we were treated as someone who went overseas and did things that we shouldn't have done," said Smith.
More than 58 thousand names are on the wall including 882 from Louisiana. This weekend will be a time to reflect and remember the sacrifices that were made.