It was an extra special Memorial Day in Pelham, New Hampshire as families took advantage of the rare opportunity to visit the Moving Wall – a half size traveling replica of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, DC.
On Monday, the stories were plentiful and the memories still fresh and painful.
“When the plane went down, every one of them got killed,” said Sgt. Edward Allard who served in Vietnam.
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Veterans like Allard visited the Moving Wall in Pelham Monday to find the names of their fellow soldiers who never made it home.
“I got about 90 names that I’m trying to look up,” Allard said.
The Wall arrived in New Hampshire on Thursday and Allard has visited every day since.
“I’ve got one more panel and after that, then we will have them all,” he said.
The wall has been traveling the country for more than 30 years.
It carries with it the names of 58,000 soldiers killed in Vietnam. 227 of them are from New Hampshire, and three are from Pelham.
“Every one of these names has a story attached to it,” said Windham resident Kierin Caldwell.
She’s grateful her dad, Sgt. Bob Givens, is spending Memorial Day passing down memories to her son.
“For my kids to see and hear firsthand from their grandfather is really something touching and special,” Caldwell said.
For some who may never make it to the monument in DC – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it in person.
“Every one of these soldiers gave their lives for us,” said a tearful Carol Hyslop of Gilmanton. “It’s big, it gets me every time.”
The wall will be disassembled Monday and move on to Pennsylvania.
Visitors say it leaves behind a Memorial Day weekend that won’t soon be forgotten, just like the names etched in the 144 panels.
“It’s a feeling that, they were remembered, they just weren’t put aside and that’s the end of it,” Allard said. “They were remembered.”