Vietnam veterans honored at LBJ Presidential Library

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country's involvement in the Vietnam War, the City of Austin is making sure that veterans who served are never forgotten.

Name after name, this wall lists the more than 58,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. 

"For us, the veterans of Vietnam, we will never stop seeing the faces behind these names. They were our comrades, we trained together, we were barracks buddies, we fought side-by-side," says John Miterko, Vietnam Veterans of America, Texas State Council.

The memorial itself is dedicated to honoring all who answered the call to serve during the longest war in U.S. history. It's our job to make sure we never forget.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE REPLICA

"This is our cathedral, the sacred place we go to remember our war and to remember our friends," says Miterko.

The Wall that Heals permanently stands in Washington DC. A 250-foot replica is in Austin until April 29th.

It is one part of the summit on the Vietnam War being held at the LBJ Presidential Library. University of Texas President Greg Fenves says the Texas played a very important role. 

"The many military bases and installations in the state trained pilots and nurses and of course, fighting soldiers. The Huey helicopter, which became symbolic on the American presence in the war in Vietnam, was designed and largely built by a Texas company, Bell Helicopter," says President Greg Fenves, University of Texas.

More than 3,400 Texans have their names inscribed on the wall. Bringing the memorial to Austin allows these veterans to exist once more among family and friends.

"We laughed together in the dark humor that only warriors can understand, we huddled together in the monsoons, flew together into battle, stood side-by-side facing death," says Miterko.

There is a mobile education center and information tent where volunteers are on hand to answer questions, help find names of fallen veterans and provide historical context.

They will also have lapel pens to present Vietnam veterans as a way to honor their service.

"These are not just names to us, these are our brothers and our sisters," says Miterko.

The replica memorial is free and open to the public 24-hours a day up until April 29th. The Vietnam War Summit is April 26-28th. Both are at the LBJ Presidential Library, located on the University of Texas campus.
 

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