‘I felt proud and I felt honored’: Veterans, community visit The Wall That Heals in Chisholm

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 4:44 PM CDT
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CHISHOLM, MN -- Veterans and community members from around the Northland gathered in Chisholm to honor fallen and missing-in-action Vietnam Veterans.

The Wall That Heals is a mobile scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. that tours the country, allowing veterans who can’t necessarily make the trip across the country to see the wall.

This week, the wall is in Chisholm.

Rick Holland, a Chisholm native, served in the Vietnam War decades ago.

Today, he and dozens of other local veterans revisited their experiences as they honored their lost friends and family.

“[I plan to ] look at the names of the guys that we lost, just focus there for a while and let it sink in,” he said.

Put on by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the wall opened with a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony at around 11 a.m. Thursday.

Holland and fellow veteran Bill Hanegmon, laid the wreath at the head of the Memorial to honor POW and MIA service members.

“I felt proud and I felt honored... because that’s what this whole event is about, honoring,” Holland said.

The United Way of Northeast Minnesota reached out to the VVMF to bring the wall to Chisholm.

Executive Director Erin Shay said they wanted to make the memorial more accessible to those who might not be able to travel to the nation’s capital.

“I think for us... we wanted to bring it here locally and offer it to as many people as we could in our community to have that experience close to home,” said Shay.

The wall is open 24 hours a day to allow guests to visit whenever they feel most comfortable.

All are welcome to visit.

A ceremony will take place Saturday to honor the 105 soldiers from the region with names on the wall.

The wall will be in Chisholm until 2 p.m. Sunday.

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