BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- A swell of emotions as people gathered in Bonita Springs to honor the men and women who gave their lives in the Vietnam War. We met many people who searched the memorial wall to find their fallen loved ones. The traveling wall was escorted to Riverside Park on Thursday, and today was unveiled to the public.
58, 272 names are the wall. WINK saw first hand, the effect and the emotion this mobile memorial has on those Vietnam veterans who made it home from war. They came to salute their fallen comrades and to pay tribute to an important time in history.
It is one of the most powerful images, a veteran saluting a fallen warrior.
"We often wonder when we think about it, why did we come back? There must have been a purpose, and God brought me back, and he didn't, them," said Vietnam Veteran, Bruce Peters.
Peters came to see the names of four of his fellow fallen comrades.
"Charles Smith, Clarence Earley, Richard Duran, Robert Spiegel."
Those are just four of the 58, 272 names etched in the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall.
"I have much more of a sense of responsibility to those men that I'm here, I came back," said Peters.
But seeing the name "Charles Smith" on the traveling wall of tribute is especially hard for Peters. He stops, stares and fights to hold back tears.
"We switched places that day and he was doing the job I normally would have been doing and was instantly killed by an ied."
Peters does experience something known as 'survival guilt.' The wall is the exact replica of the monument in Washington D.C. It will be at Riverside Park through Veterans Day.