Oceana County Dept. of Veterans Affairs Hosts Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall
A special memorial has made its way to Michigan, honoring all of the lives lost while serving our country.
“This doesn’t just translate to one county, it translates to all the way downstate, it translate across state lines,” said Gina Mead, Community Relations Chair, Oceana County Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mead says being able to bring this memorial to Hart, and Oceana County, is incredible, especially as a veteran herself.
“To be able to do something like this, to bring awareness to basically what they faced when they came home,” she said. “I saw how much this could make an impact how one person might be able to heal from all of this.”
The wall gives people a chance to see something they may never have seen before.
“The idea that there’s a lot of people that might not ever be able to get to Washington, D.C. to see the real thing, and to have it come in with close proximity to where their location is or their home,” Mead said. “We’re giving them the chance to do something, experience something that they might not be able to do.”
Along with the Vietnam Wall, names of those lost in 9/11, the Persian Gulf War, and other wars and tragedies are also on display.
Next to that is the National “Remembering Our Fallen” display, which honors those who have died while serving since 9/11.
“It has been in development since 2011 and is currently 5,279 photos displayed,” said David Luton, National Representative for Patriotic Productions. “The biggest response I get is they’re all so young. But they were all so young in Vietnam, they were all so young in Korea, it all comes together with age.”
Luton served with the U.S. Marines from 1978-1987. He says being a part of the “Remembering Our Fallen” display helps him a lot personally.
“This is how I treat my post traumatic stress,” he said. “I feel I’m just a caretaker.”
With both being displayed all weekend, organizers say they hope people can learn and heal from these memorials.
“If we bring one person in here that is able to tell a story about a battle buddy or is able to remember and to heal from that, then we’ve accomplished exactly what we set out to do,” said Mead.
The displays will be out at the Oceana County Fairgrounds 24 hours a day from now until Sunday at 3 p.m. They are free for the public to view, and donations are welcome.