Vietnam Memorial in Diamondhead stirs strong emotions

Vietnam Memorial in Diamondhead stirs strong emotions

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - A piece of American history in on temporary display in Diamondhead.

"The Moving Wall" is a half-size replica of the  Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. It has been touring the country for more than thirty years, and it made a stop on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for the weekend.

Among the nearly 60 thousand names etched in the wall, Diane Moore was only looking for one. Her dad's.

He went to fight in Vietnam when she was just eleven years old, and  he never came back home. Seeing his name made her emotional.

"It's a very powerful feeling to be here this weekend as my dad was captured on Halloween of 1965, so it's like spiritually I know he's with me and we're at the wall and I'm spending the 52nd anniversary of him being MIA here at this wall," said Moore.

Many of the men on the wall were very young when they died, but their brothers in arms carry their legacy. Jerry Peppergen, the commandeer of the Diamondhead VFW, recognizes a few names on the wall.

"[He's] one of my classmates, the guy I went to high school with. He didn't last but maybe six months after high school," said Peppergen

Although decades have passed since the war ended, the present is still surreal for those survivors

"I hadn't thought much about him, but I went to see the wall in 1984 and I looked his name up, and I though I was a pretty tough man until I saw his name. It kind of chocked me up, in fact I'm not sure if I'm going to look him up this time," added Peppergen

Knowing the connection between the names and the ages, is why Moore wants to pass their stories onto the younger generation...

"All they see are names...they don't know the history of the names, each name. What the sacrifice was and I think that's important, I think we should be teaching," said Moore.

Moore believes it's a lesson that will never get outdated.

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