Traveling Vietnam Wall Provokes Real Emotion From Veterans

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Vietnam Traveling Wall in Topeka may be a replica, but it provokes real memories and real emotion.

58,000 names of men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War are etched into the 80 percent scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.

Kansans visited the traveling monument on display at the Kansas National Guard Museum, to pay their respects to lost friends and loved ones that fought for freedom.

Phil Jenkins served in Vietnam in 1965 with the 155th Transportation Company, and remembered his first meeting with the wall, saying, "The first time that I saw the wall, was in Kansas city, Kansas. It was pretty overwhelming. I always make it a point to run my hands across the wall, a good part of it, just to let my brothers know that I'm thinking about them."

Gilbert Ramirez, a U.S. Navy Seal during the Vietnam War in 1965 was overcome with emotion upon seeing the wall. He said, "I lost it.
I just lost it because I went up there and saw the name and I had the picture of the friend of mine that was killed when we got attacked. I just lost it, uncontrollable ya know."

The traveling wall will be on display around the clock until 3 pm Sunday.