Vietnam memorial arrives in Englewood

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ENGLEWOOD--It's simplicity belies a conflict deep and complex, and its thousands of words have left thousands speechless.

"How they all honor our country is great, its amazing," said Tina Vogt of the replica Vietnam Memorial Wall in Englewood. The replica is on display in South Sarasota County.

"We're a little town in between big towns and who would think something like this would be in Englewood," said Florence Harms, who was there visiting the memorial.

Veterans of the Vietnam War gathered Saturday morning at a ceremony to welcome the Vietnam travelling memorial wall.

Even though the war ended almost forty years ago, organizers say some veterans need to see the wall to start healing the wounds of war.

"For some it's more emotional than it is for others," said organizer Greg Welsh, "some veterans get very emotional, people come and they cry, they find a loved ones name."

While it's about sixty percent as big the memorial wall in Washington, the impact it makes on those who see it is just as powerful.

"When you hear how many people are killed in the wars, you don't realize how many until how many names are on this wall," said Jerry Spencer, who lost his nephew in the war.

He says seeing the wall in Englewood is a once in a lifetime opportunity, since he's never seen the permanent wall in Washington, and doesn't ever expect to.

"Just to see all of the people that gave up their lives for us, it's just amazing," said Spencer.

Yet while some may look at the wall and see only sadness, loss and pain, others see it as a reminder of the values that led our country to Vietnam in the first place.

"Makes you just more proud to be an American," said Harms.