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MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — A replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall will be on display in McKeesport this weekend.
“The Wall That Heals” was unveiled Thursday night.
One thousand soldiers from Western Pennsylvania died in the Vietnam War. Of those 1,000 soldiers, 420 of those were from Allegheny County alone.
And a large number of those were from the Mon Valley, which is why the wall’s visit is touching so many hearts.
People searched for family members on the wall set up in Renziehausen Park.
And fellow Vietnam veterans will never forget, like John Grebbs who served in the U.S. Army.
“It’s heartbreaking. All our brothers and eight sisters are on the wall that passed away giving the ultimate sacrifice. It breaks your heart. You cry,” said Grebbs.
The wall is 3/4 the size of the memorial in D.C., but the impact is an impressive.
Dennis Downie, former US Air Force Mechanic, says the soldiers listed here may have kept him alive.
“These guys kept the enemy away from me, so I could do my job. I respect every one of them, and there’s a good chance they protected me when I was over there,” he said.
Given that Vietnam vets who survived often never got the homecoming they deserved because of the war’s unpopularity, services like this, even decades later, mean a lot.
“I’m so pleased that the sacrifices of everyone, especially those who didn’t make it back are being recognized at last,” said Ed Blank who served in the U.S. Army.
The wall is free to visit, and people are welcome around the clock. It’s on display through Sunday.