Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall now standing in Marco Island

Author: Megan Contreras
Published: Updated:

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- The Vietnam Traveling Tribute is on Marco Island.

“If me dying could save one American’s life, I’d do it in a heart beat.”

George Benti served in Vietnam.

He was one of the fortunate ones that made it back and says Wednesday’s show of support is much different than when returned from war.

“We landed in the airport, people walk a round, cuss at you, and call you a baby killer, it was hard,” Benti told WINK News.

Veterans and military supporters stood solemnly in front of the replica of the Vietnam Traveling Tribute.

“It’s heart breaking for the ones that never came home, my buddies who never got to come home,” said Veteran Kenny Smith.

The wall has the names of over 58,000 people who didn’t make it home from Vietnam.

“I’ve got three or four buddies on that wall,” said Smith.

“While they were there, it was always in the back of your mind, if they were going to come home,” said rider John Stevens.

A breathtaking motorcade of motorcycles and law enforcement vehicles escorted the wall from Fort Myers to Marco Island.

“It’s very exciting to see the people like a parade waving, knowing we have so many people truly patriotic about our country,” said Cari Lamontange.

As it entered Veterans Park, the wall went under this American flag.

“Brothers who didn’t come home, it’s an important thing, it’s an important thing,” said Benti.

This piece of history is known as “The Wall that Heals.”

“Yes it does. Knowing the ones who gave their life are being recognized is very important.”

The wall will be on display until Monday, Feb. 16.

Opening ceremonies for the wall will be held Thursday at 3 p.m.

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