GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – With flags, fanfare and much appreciation, Garland welcomed the arrival of The Wall that Heals on Tuesday.
The traveling display is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“It’s the price of freedom,” said Brian Mosier, who waited in the crisp February wind for the semi truck hauling the memorial to roll into town.
Mosier, a military veteran, was one of a dozen or so who gathered at the Garland Elks Lodge to welcome the exhibit.
“I just wanted to be able to see it and salute it as it goes by,” added Lanny Jones.
“They gave their life for me, so I could be free today,” said Michelle Kirk.
“Those names mean sacrifice, they volunteered like I did,” shared Kevin Thomas. “They went over there and gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
“It is the least that we can do,” added Jim Meehan with Garland Elks Lodge #1984. Lodge. “I consider it a milestone to have it in town. Our youth and our veterans can appreciate the situation.”
While honoring all who served, The Wall that Heals bears the names of the 58,276 men and women who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.
“Gonna make me very proud,” added Jones. “Very proud. They’re my brothers.”
Garland Mayor Scott LeMay among those eager to welcome the traveling display, adding that it is called The Wall that Heals for a reason.
“There was a lot of turmoil in the country at that time,” said Mayor LeMay. “Veterans who came home were not treated with the respect that they deserved… so it’s never too late. It’ s never too late to thank them. It’s never too late to show them our appreciation.”
Volunteers will assemble the display on Wednesday.
It will be open for visitors Thursday through Sunday, 24 hours a day at Audubon Park at 342 W. Oates Road.
One of those applauding the memorial’s arrival, Nic SanAngelo described its significance this way: “Honor, valor, bravery, sacrifice.”