AUBURN (WJRT) -
(09/04/14) - An important piece of our country's war history is on display in Mid-Michigan.
Many people are flocking to Bay County to see the "Moving Wall", a traveling memorial that recognizes those who served in the Vietnam War.
It's dedicated to those who served and lost their lives in the Vietnam War. The wall ensures the brave souls are never forgotten.
The memorial has been visiting cities across the nation since 1984. It was brought in by police escort Thursday morning to the Auburn City Park. The pieces of the wall were packed securely in large boxes and stored on a truck.
Students from area schools, and community members, lined the streets waving American flags as the wall rolled through town. After the grand welcome, the memorial was unpacked and setup for display.
Football players from Bay City Western helped put it together.
"It is very important for us to help. It's cool. It's a cool experience," said Devin Rugenstein, of Bay City Western.
"This is the second time I've seen it down in Birch Run and now here. It's nice to come out and see, especially if you've got somebody on the wall that you knew, it's really important to do," said Richard Larve, Vietnam veteran.
"This is very important. Everyone needs to see this," said Joan Doner, of Auburn.
More than 58,000 names are on the wall for Vietnam Veterans.
"It's very sad," Doner said.
Doner and Fran Galke aren't searching for family members, but they are looking for friends.
"Friends from high school who are on there. We went to John Glenn, so some of the guys are on there," Galke said.
"They were like 18 and 19 and just gone," Doner said.
The two women were among many who showed up to Auburn City Park to comb through the list of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends' names inscribed on the traveling memorial. It's a half size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that stands in Washington D.C.
This traveling wall has been visiting cities across the nation since 1984. To see the wall is sobering experience and a reminder of price the men and women listed here were willing to pay.
Galke and Doner say it renews the sense of appreciation.
"I hope that young kids today can see the sacrifices that their uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers made," Galke said.
The wall will be on display at the park through Monday. Volunteers are there to help people find the names of loved ones and friends.