Indian Trail Vietnam Moving Wall bringing memories, plenty of emotions

Indian Trail Vietnam Moving Wall bringing memories, plenty of emotions

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on June 14, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 23 at 3:00 AM

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. -- The Vietnam Moving Wall is now on display in Indian Trail, bringing with it powerful experiences and memories for families who lost loved ones and Veterans who watched friends die.

The wall includes the names of more than 58,000 soldiers who were killed or are missing, including 1,600 soldiers from North Carolina and 19 from Union County where the wall is on display at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2423. 

Lt. Walter Koehler and Specialist Jean Martin's names are two spaces apart on the wall.  Mike Armstrong has pictures of himself with Koehler and Martin.  They served in the same unit.  Koehler and Martin died the same day a week after when their helicopter was shot down.

“I feel lucky that I could have been here.  I'm thankful nothing happened to me and I'm sure sorry these guys didn't make it,” Armstrong said.  "I've grown old and they're still 20, 21 years old.”

On Thursday World War II Veteran James Crump found his cousin, who died in Vietnam.

"These boys are like brothers, I don't care what war. They are like brothers,” Crump said.

Sylvia Price found a cousin as well and traced his name onto paper she will give to relatives.

"I just think it's an honor for my family to do this,” said Price.

The names on the wall are arranged in the order in which soldiers died.

"A lot more names, a lot more stories,” Armstrong said.

In all, 997 died on their first day in Vietnam and 1,448 died on their last day in Vietnam.

VFW Post 2423 is holding a ceremony Thursday night for the families of the 19 soldiers from Union County who are on the wall.   

If you want to see the wall, it will be on display 24 hours a day now through June 18, and admission is free.

NewsChannel 36 also came across a man looking at the wall, reading names and crying.  Sometimes moments should just be left alone.
 

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