Traveling Vietnam Wall on display in Clarksville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Traveling Vietnam Wall on display in Clarksville

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CLARKSVILLE, Ind.  (WDRB) -- It is a traveling tribute to thousands of fallen soldiers.  The traveling Vietnam Wall and Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers are both on display in Clarksville, Indiana this week.

The wall is 370-feet in length, and contains every single name etched on the original wall.  Thousands of people from across the area are expected to come see the wall.

People like Army Veteran Stephen Koerber. "I got out the first time from Vietnam was a sergeant," said Koerber.

The traveling wall always attracts thousands of veterans, active members and civilians.

At the wall, Koerber found something he lost 40 years ago in Vietnam.

"A real good friend of mine; he was on my team. I got 9 names on that wall," said Koerber. 

The traveling Vietnam Wall is just part of what's on display this week at the Town Hall in Clarksville.

"This year we tried to bring a touch of Arlington with us," said Greg Alexander, President of Indiana Salute to Veterans.

There's also the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame.

"The Eternal Flame, that is a hundred percent replica, 106 stones and the internal flame is there for John F. Kennedy, his wife and his two children," said Alexander.

Over the next few days, thousands will come.

"She had a wedding band that belonged to her husband, he was on the 37th panel on the east side," said Alexander.

It has been 40 years, but Alexander is still grieving for her husband who died in Vietnam.

"She has never been able to visit the Vietnam wall in Washington or anywhere else until today, she was able to bring that wedding band and left it here with her husband," Alexander said.

Ironically, this week marks 40 years since the U.S. pulled forces out of Vietnam, and soldiers didn't exactly come home to the heroes welcome they deserved.

"The stories that you used to hear where they would come home and people would spit on them and stuff, we hear those stories," said Alexander.

"I got out of the Army and I got locked up the first night I was back...a guy spit in my face and called me a baby killer," said Koerber.

But times have changed, and now Koerber and fellow veterans are getting the credit they deserve.

"It means a lot that the country is now realizing that there's a lot of us veterans out here," Koerber said.

And the ones who didn't come home are etched in the hearts of loved ones and on the wall.

"Over 58,000 names," said Alexander.

"I've got them etched in paper," said Koerber.

And for the next few days, the names of the fallen will be read out loud at the memorial.

"The last name will be read on Sunday at 3 o'clock. It might be your cousin, it might have been your next door neighbor you would have had but they fought for us and they're on this wall now," Alexander said.

The traveling wall will be on display until Sunday afternoon.

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