A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall is in Wisconsin for the first and only time this year.
The traveling exhibit is in Manitowoc this weekend and brings with it thousands of memories.
“That’s a lot of people,” said Mark Becker of Two Rivers. “58,000 people who didn’t get to grow old and have children and grandchildren.”
There’s a rose for every name on the wall from Northeast Wisconsin.
Each with a tale to tell.
“My friend was killed in 1968,” he said. “He was two months shy of his 21st birthday. And I met his mother and father in 1970. And I always promised them that I would come back to their home in West Bend and see him again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it. And when I finally did do it, it was too late and they were both gone.”
I felt like I let them down. I broke a promise. And when I come to the wall, it’s for them. They can’t. So, I do it for them.”
None of them knew they would be a part of history.
But their lives certainly meant the world to those around them.
“They’re not forgotten,” said Becker. “That’s the worst thing is to be forgotten. And they’re not.”
The memorial wall will be up through Sunday at the Manitowoc County Expo Center.