Jasper County veteran, Paul Brown can tell you why “The Wall That Heals” means so much to him.
“They’re living, breathing people. They’re not just names,” said Brown.
44 years ago Sunday, Brown’s life was spared while on a mission in Vietnam.
“The path we were going on, we were told we weren’t supposed to walk because it was booby trapped,” Brown told Channel 13 News.
Five other men lost their lives that day, and one of them men has remained on Brown’s mind ever since.
Thanks to “The Wall That Heals”, Brown can now show others the significance of this memorial.
“James M Ellis. Rest in peace brother,” said Brown.
Brown isn’t alone.
All week long, veterans guarded the wall day and night and stood as snow fell on their shoulders.
Gary Clemon, a Vietnam veteran, says it’s an honor to guard the memorial.
He continues to learn about a war he experienced first-hand.
“I’ve met so many guys I didn’t know were Vietnam veterans before. All of a sudden I’ve met new friends and have a new appreciation for them,” said Clemon.
Some snow remained on the ground Sunday, but it didn’t stop families from bringing their children to the wall for a lesson in history and to gain an appreciation for the men and women who lost their lives fighting for our country.
“Little one here thought this was an animal thing, but now she knows it’s about people in the war,” said Mary Baxter, a visitor.