Vietnam Wall replica on display in Cincinnati

Oct 18, 2013

A half-scale replica of the Vietnam Wall is making its first-ever stop in Cincinnati.

The traveling "Wall that Heals" memorial is 250 feet long and includes a mobile museum.

Donny Ladd of West Chester spent 24 years in the Air Force, including two years in Vietnam.

"It's good that it's traveling around for the people who can't go and see it," he says. "If they can go see the one in Washington DC, it's better but this is certainly very helpful. It's a very healing wall."

58,286 names are inscribed on the wall but Charles Norton of College Hill came to find just one. He lost his best friend Ray Childs during the Tet Offensive.

"I just think about him," says Norton. "I don't know whether the Lord blessed me or what it was. (I have) some guilt but you learn to live with it but it's a hard balance."

Norton says he visits the VA often and tells younger veterans he knows what they're going through.

"It don't save you but it lets you know that you aren't as crazy as everyone thinks you are. You're just going through some things. There are changes you have to go through to adjust back to society. We weren't given a chance (when I came back from Vietnam) but I think I owe that to the young guys... to talk to them, encourage them, try to help them get their benefits. Some listen, some don't.. but I'm proud this is my mission."

The wall is on display through Sunday at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

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