Vietnam memorial replica escorted to Marco Island

A special memorial is now in Southwest Florida.

The Wall That Heals is the largest replica of the Vietnam Memorial and it travels all around the country. Its first stop of the year is in Marco Island.

The procession from Fort Myers to Marco Island honors our veterans including the 58,276 who did not come home from Vietnam. Their names are now on display on the replica memorial wall.

“Here to support the troops that served in Vietnam and are serving now even,” said Tom Gravagna, who lives in Port Charlotte. “This is a memorial for everybody.”

“I’m here today to honor my cousin who is KIA Vietnam 1968 Larry J. Linedecker,” said Joan Mary Madonna, a Fort Myers resident.

More than 400 veterans, law enforcement and supporters escorted the wall down Interstate 75 Tuesday.

“Nothing compares to today,” said Sherry Moore, a Cape Coral resident. “There’s so many riders and the spectators. I mean it was amazing. Absolutely amazing.”

The wall will be set up on Wednesday. An opening ceremony is happening Thursday at Veteran’s Community Park on Marco Island. You can visit until Sunday afternoon. Until then, the replica provides a homecoming for many veterans who made the emotional ride with the wall.

“It gives the community the opportunity to welcome the wall to the town for the week,” said Tim Tetz, who works with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. “It also gives an opportunity for a homecoming parade of sorts for the Vietnam and other era veterans in that.”

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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