Replica of Vietnam War memorial comes to Newport
By: Brittany Comak
NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) - The Moving Wall is making a stop in Newport thru this weekend.
Hundreds gathered at the Vietnam War memorial replica in Touro Park Thursday to remember those that didn't make it home.
Thursday night's candle light vigil in Newport brought together Vietnam veterans from each branch of the military to reflect on their service, and remember the friends they may have lost during the years long war.
"There is a deep and abiding sense of loss," said Navy veteran Cliff Christian, as he gazed at the wall.
The unifying piece is a half size replica of the the memorial in Washington D.C. that's been traveling the country since 1984.
"We decided to bring it here for the veterans because our window of opportunity is closing because they're getting older," said The Moving Wall Newport organizer Kim Shute.
On the wall are the 58,320 names of those that died; 209 of them are Rhode islanders.
"You should never forget the past and the people that gave their lives for the country," said Marine Corps. veteran Ernest Anthony, Jr.
Organizers say the wall often overwhelms Vietnam vets, many of whom do not talk about what they endured.
"This wall has given them an opportunity to have conversations that are really hard, and that are really important to have, because it was such a formative part of their lives," said Shute.
The wall will be in Touro Park the next few days if you'd like to pay your respects. It will then move on to South Attleboro.
"I look at this and I know that they were brave and valiant, and they may have been, as we all were at various points, absolutely terrified, but they gave all that they had," said Christian.
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