WASHINGTON, DC – It's a granite wall that slices into the heart of Washington's Constitutional Gardens.
"It's part of what we are."
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial has become a mecca for millions of Americans, including two Iowa brothers who grew up in Wilton.
It was Greg Neibert who joined the Navy first, serving aboard the USS Plymouth Rock. His brother Dennis would later serve on a sister ship.
They now live in different communities but the Honor Flight brought them together at this wall.
"It's overwhelming," said Dennis. "It really is."'
They walk along the nearly one thousand foot wall where the names of more than 58,000 Americans killed are etched in black granite.
"You can't imagine all these people... Gone," says Dennis.
And for Greg, it's a chance to pause at one of the 144 panels.
"A name of a person I know who was from Durant, Iowa: John E. Christiansen Junior," says Greg.
"It's overwhelming, it really is," says Dennis.
Each of the people in a yellow t-shirt is a Vietnam era veteran from the Quad City area escorted by volunteers in blue shirts. Almost 200 in all, each feeling the weight of a wall that symbolizes a wound that is healing.
"The Vietnam era never really go the welcome home, thanks for your service, that sort of thing so they certainly appreciate this from everything we've seen," said Mike Haney, a Deputy Director of the Quad City Honor Flight.
"It's such an honor to be part of the Vietnam era war because you knew everybody had a job to do and unfortunately they paid the supreme sacrifice for doing it," said Greg.
"It's almost been too embarrassing the welcomes that we're getting," said veteran Danny Miller.
"I guess we never got one when we came home."
Rock Island's Danny Miller is another of the Vietnam veterans who made this inaugural trip. Wounded in 1968, he joins many of these men and women who feel pride about a military career that started when he enlisted a lifetime ago.
"I thought it was the thing to do," said Miller.
"You do something for your Country, something besides being selfish."
And for Greg and Dennis Neipert, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for two brothers to see the wall together almost 50-years after they served.
"Lots of memories," said Dennis. "I'll have it stored inside here."