Vietnam traveling memorial wall, Monroe - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Monroe Parade welcomes Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall was welcomed with a lot of fanfare Friday morning. 

Lining the streets from the Monroe Regional Airport to the Chennault Aviation Museum were hundreds of waving flags, as a parade honoring veterans rolled through. A first of its kind in the region.  "I think it's terrific, it took a long time and actually that's the victory of the Vietnam veteran, what's happening here" said Vietnam veteran Britt Small.

High school groups played music and held signs of fallen soldiers. Veterans smiled at children waving flags in their honor. "Without them we wouldn't have the freedom we have today" said Calhoun Middle School student Patrick Camp.

The sheer number of people honoring the Vietnam veterans touched veteran Greg Hill's heart. Who, like many others, was not welcomed home kindly after the war. "I'm glad that I think people are now appreciating the loss that we took for that war" said Hill.

For many the memorial wall is a way to remember those that have fallen, but for some it's a painful reminder of what they've been through. "If I go to the wall, I find myself looking for my buddies in the first battalion 27 marines who gave it all in Vietnam. But it only brings back bad memories, or has me having sad thoughts" said Vietnam veteran J.W Hill Jr.

But Hill says it's important for the younger generation to reflect on those lost, to understand the value of their freedom. The event culminated with a wreath laid as a tribute, to those who gave all for our country.

The memorial will be open 24 hours a day, with security, until next Wednesday, November 14, when it will close at 4 in the afternoon.

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