Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica in Utah

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Replica in Utah

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Samantha Hayes ReportingA traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is on display this weekend in Riverton. For those who visited the real wall in Washington the replica elicits much the same emotion. And for others, including some veterans, it is their first visit to the Wall.

The grandeur of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is hard to replicate. Each black granite wall is 246 feet long composed of 70 separate inscribed panels. The largest have 137 lines of names. But peering into the Wall whether in Washington D.C or the traveling model now in Riverton, Utah, American Pride reflects.

Ray Tracy, Vietnam Veteran and Replica Volunteer:” It seems to have the same psychological effect on people as the one in D.C.”

Shirley Mortenson visited the wall to find the name of a high school classmate.

Shirley Mortenson, Draper Resident: It was quite a blow when I found out he was dead. He was my first boyfriend. I loved him dearly.”

Larry Hardenbrook, Vietnam Veteran: “I’ve always wanted to go to the wall in Washington. You know, I donated money to the construction of it and this is really great that I get to see this wall.”

Larry Hardenbrook is also accepting recognition for his time in Vietnam.

Larry Hardenbrook, Vietnam Veteran: “For quite a few years, I was ashamed of the fact I ever went to Vietnam.”

Some 68 thousand names are inscribed on the wall, and with paper and pencil in hand those young and old scratch the names of their loved ones.

Shirley Mortenson, Draper Resident: “I don’t care which war it is or if there isn’t a war. We still need to honor those who give their lives, or the possibility of giving their lives for all of us to have the freedom we enjoy.”

The replica is open all hours until Sunday at 6 p.m. A candlelight vigil will be held Saturday at 8 p.m.

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