Remembering Vietnam casualties at Arsenal’s Wall That Heals

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It's the sound of service on Thursday.

"When you see it, it's very inspiring," said Vietnam veteran Lyle Peterson.

And it's the sight of sacrifice.

"It's like a healing wall," said Vietnam veteran Fred Hernandez.

At the Rock Island Arsenal, The Wall That Heals helps visitors to remember a war in Vietnam that many forgot.

"I kneel down and rub my hand over their names," Peterson said.

At Thursday's opening ceremonies, hometown hero Bill Albracht recalls the long wait for a welcome home.

He details how the memory of a fallen soldier inspired him to write a book.

"So they know the bravery that was exhibited," he said. "Not just on the ground, but in the sky above."

Families, friends and visitors search for names on the traveling wall.

It's impressive, exactly one-half scale to the memorial in Washington, D.C., and impressive for those who see it.

"Just to have a memory of those years is wonderful, so the younger generation doesn't forget," Hernandez said.

It's a meaningful salute to the fallen during the Vietnam War.

"I just hope they realize the sacrifices they made," Peterson said.

Lasting memories for the brave and brightest.

"Some things should never be forgotten," Hernandez concluded.  "In my eyes, anyway."

The Wall That Heals is open around the clock at the Rock Island Arsenal through Sunday, August 2.

Admission is free, but visitors over the age of 16 need to bring a photo identification to enter the Arsenal.


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