Vietnam War memorial in Dubuque brings closure - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Vietnam War memorial in Dubuque brings closure

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The memorial is in Dubuque through Monday. The memorial is in Dubuque through Monday.
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

A solemn memorial that may help some eastern Iowans find closure opened Thursday in Dubuque.

The Moving Wall, a half-size traveling replica of the Vietnam War memorial in Washington D.C., is in the key city through Monday.

For Vietnam War veteran from the tri-state area John Vogt, the Moving Wall bears the names of his friends who died in Vietnam.

"All of a sudden, bang, he wasn't there anymore, and it was quite a shock, and I know when I see his name on this wall, it still tears me up," Vogt said.

At the memorial's opening ceremony in Dubuque Thursday afternoon, a roll call named the 62 people from the tri-state area who died in the Vietnam War and one who went missing in action.

"You always ask the question, 'How come it was them and it wasn't you or vice versa,' you know, you just don't understand that part of it. It's hard to grasp," Vogt said.

Hundreds of people came for the ceremony and stayed for the wall.

Bobby Barrera was one of the speakers. He is the past national commander of Disabled American Veterans.

"It impacts not just the military member, but the families, the friends," Barrera said.

Many Vietnam vets experienced a chilly reception after the war, Barrera said.

"I have friends who were spat upon, I have friends who were called 'baby killers' because of things that had transpired - not necessarily that they take part in it, that people made that connection and unfortunately we got tagged or labeled with some of those stories, unjustly so," Barrera said. "I think it's beautiful that nowadays we see our troops being treated differently. That's the way it should be."

At the Moving Wall, there is respect and honor for the Vietnam vets.

"Just walk by and look at the individuals, and you'll see how much of an impact it does have," Barrera said.

For the families of those who fell, "at least they know they're not forgotten," Vogt said.

For the vets, it may be a step toward healing.

The memorial was last in Dubuque in 1995. This will be the wall's only stop in Iowa in 2012.

It's open to the public 24 hours every day it's here in eastern Iowa. It's in the Port of Dubuque through Monday, near the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and the River Walk.

For more information on special events planned this weekend at the wall, click HERE.

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