MARQUETTE — For five days, the AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall’s home was Marquette. The replica display of the Washington D.C. monument brought 12,000 people to the area, to remember a war that claimed the lives of over 58,000 people.
“To me personally it’s had an opportunity once again to reflect and say hi to friends that were on the wall, it’s had an opportunity to present the wall to Marquette county residents, to the veterans, see the healing effects of veterans that came in and finally made it to the wall,” said veteran Vic Romback.
It’s a beautiful site that remembers one of the toughest wars in U.S. history. Thousands of lives lost, thousands more injured.
The AVTT Traveling Vietnam Wall brought together veterans from the Vietnam War– and others– to mostly reflect.
“It was everything we wanted it to be, it was the Vietnam veterans getting a chance to release some of that pent up emotion at the wall, lots of crying, especially during the main ceremony. I was up on stage and I think one in every third person had tears in their eyes after some of the speaking, but that’s part of the healing, letting all that out,” said Will Weycker, Master of Ceremonies.
Sunday’s closing ceremony focused on women in the Vietnam War. Between 5,000 and 15,000 women participated in the war, most of them being nurses.
“I know these nurses were fantastic, the guys that they had to hold onto the as they past and tried to ease them and stuff. They were amazing,” said Jim Provost.
“There were some who were Vietnamese interpreters some, some that worked in intelligence, that were up on the front lines,” added Romback.
“There were eight nurses on the wall that gave their life in different ways and most of them trying to save injured soldiers, so very heroic for the women,” added Weycker.
The wall has left Marquette, bound for it’s next viewing in Indiana. There’s no doubt that the wall left its mark on many people for many, many years to come.