It has been over 50 years since the start of the Vietnam War. On Wednesday, Vietnam veterans celebrated a welcome home as the American Veterans Traveling Tribute wall arrived in Toledo.
Engines roared with patriotism as hundreds of motorcyclists gathered at Toledo Express Airport to escort the replica Vietnam Veteranâ??s Memorial wall into Toledo. Many of the riders were Vietnam veterans themselves.
â??Thank you very much for giving us that welcome home that we didnâ??t get, and all this turn-out here to escort the wall in,â?? said Robert E. Lee Stewart, who served in Cambodia in the U.S. Army. Stewart has served with several organizations that help to honor veterans. He added, â??Every one of those men on that wall has a special story and a special name and a special place in every one of our hearts.â??
Jon Williams, a Vietnam veteran with the U.S. Army, rode directly in front of the memorial wall during its journey to Toledoâ??s International Park. Williams told WNWO, â??This is a great day, Iâ??ve been to a lot of the other events but this is a great thing.â?? He continued, â??Everybody is long overdue and theyâ??re really enjoying it.â??
Every name on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial wall in Washington D.C. is inscribed on the traveling replica. Many say it stirs the same emotions.
â??The greatest picture Iâ??ve seen is the one where the man is holding his hand against the wall and on the other side his brothers are holding their hands to meet his,â?? said Stewart. â??That says it all. We are as one, living and dead.â??
The American Veterans Traveling Tribute will be on display to the public in International Park beginning at noon on June 6th. It marks the beginning of a string of events through June 9th.