Replica Vietnam Memorial comes to Clayton County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Replica Vietnam Memorial comes to Clayton County

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CLAYTON COUNTY (KWWL) -

A half-size replica of the Vietnam Memorial will call Clayton County it's home through Monday.

The wall, which measures in at 252 feet, just a little over half the size of the original in Washington D.C. arrived in Iowa today.

And for many Eastern Iowa veterans, this might be their only shot.

"We just thought, what a wonderful opportunity when we heard this would be here, and on Fourth of July. It's just the best thing that could happen," said Ed Blume, a Vietnam veteran who has never been to the real memorial.

Blume is also president of the Northeast Vietnam Veterans.  The counties his club covers has 49 names on the wall.  Four of them, Blume knew.

"The whole reason for this is to remember those guys," he said. "They were guys I went to school with, rode bus with."

The work to bring the wall to Iowa was more than a year in the making.

Wendy Kuhse was one of the people leading that charge.

"It is a major accomplishment, on 4th of July weekend, and in little rural Iowa," she said.

More than 150 people showed up to the Clayton County Fairgrounds for Thursday night's opening ceremony.

But even if only 15 had showed, Kuhse says she would've been happy.

"Our goal is to reach as many as possible. But we also thought if we could one person, that helps them to get closure, and maybe we don't even know, we've met the reason we have it," she said.

Accompanying the wall are a couple of other displays, including 867 mini flags to honor all the people from Iowa who died in the Vietnam War.

The wall is open 24 hours each day until the closing ceremony Monday night at 6.

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