Traveling tribute honors Vietnam vets in Fayetteville
Posted November 6, 2011
Fayetteville, N.C. — A half-sized replica of the Vietnam Wall that has toured the country for the past two decades arrived in Fayetteville Sunday as part of the city's Heroes Homecoming celebration in honor of Vietnam veterans.
Thousands of Fort Bragg soldiers deployed to Vietnam, but there was no heroes welcome upon their return. Having the Moving Wall, as the traveling tribute is called, and its 58,000 names on display outside the Airborne and Special Operations Museum was an acknowledgement of veterans' heroism and sacrifice.
"There are veterans that do to the airports just to shake the hands of soldiers coming home," said Paul Galloway, executive director of the museum. "That didn't happen in the 60s and early 70s."
Veteran David James said he has seen a change in the way soldiers are welcomed home today.
"We didn't get a lot of respect coming back when we came back. I'm glad to see the guys are getting it today. They deserve it," he said.
Galloway felt that the veterans of yesterday deserved it, too. The Moving Wall gives the community an opportunity to say "thank you."
"Let them see this wall. You know, sometimes they call this wall the healing wall," Galloway said.
Moses Best, who served with the Army in Vietnam and Korea said the event was an important reminder of his fallen comrades.
"They lost their lives for America, and they did a tremendous job," he said.
The wall remains in Fayetteville until Nov. 14.