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Moving wall memorializing those lost in Vietnam War arrives in Solon

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 9:23 PM CDT
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SOLON, Iowa (KCRG) - More than 58-thousand names of American soldiers killed in Vietnam are part of a moving memorial that arrived in Solon early Thursday morning. Many people came from all over to remember and honor those they knew and lost.

Since it had been seven years since the moving wall had been in Solon, American Legion member Scott Rozinek felt it was time to bring back the replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“We just feel it’s a good thing to come. People need to remember. A lot of the vets like to come and visit the people they knew,” said Rozinek.

Being a veteran of the Vietnam War himself, he has a personal connection to a few names on the wall.

“I have a good friend who’s brother is on here,” he told TV-9. “These were heroes, these people gave their lives so that we could live the way that we do.”

The same goes for veteran and teacher Steven Clark whose connection extends to a former student.

“I teach high school industrial arts, and I taught a young man who never got to meet his father,” said Clark. “His dad shipped over while his wife was pregnant.”

When asked what it means to him to come find his former student’s dad’s name, he offered one word: closure.

Former servicewoman Millie Smith was able to get her closure when she first saw the wall several years ago. As she found the names of her first boyfriend and a childhood friend, she said this time was different.

“For some reason today I’ve been very emotional and I don’t know why,” said Smith.

One reason she offered had to do with her son who served for 20 years.

“I think it’s because my dear lord brought him home and I’m just very grateful for everything. Grateful to them, grateful for him,” said Smith.

The moving wall will be in Solon through August 16th.

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