'The Wall That Heals' Becomes Emotional Display for Most Seasoned Veterans
Visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the replica in Erie this Memorial Day weekend is an emotional experience, even for the most seasoned veterans.
"I felt the electricity when I touched his name," said veteran Major General Michael Dunlavey on finding a friend's name on The Wall That Heals. "It heals"
"We need [The Wall That Heals]," said Dunlavey. "We need people to come out and say goodbye to friends and family that they didn't get a chance to do."
Dunlavey said he gave 40 years of military service to the country and says veterans deserve this chance to memorialize their fallen brothers and sisters.
"When you go to counseling sessions with a group, it's always the same," said Dunlavey. "You can't let go of understanding how they survived. I survived, so you do the best they can to keep their memories alive. That's what this wall does."
Former Pennsylvania governor and Erie native Tom Ridge agrees. He also served his country and says a visit to The Wall quickly becomes personal."
"It's a powerful memorial," said Ridge. "I, for one, know several names on The Wall. It's very personal. When their courage and sacrifice are memorialized, it hopefully heals."
It's an emotional display honoring the thousands who made the ultimate sacrifice.
"I have to tell you when you walk up you start crying," said State Sen. Dan Laughlin. "If you don't, you might want to have a look inside yourself. "It's very moving; it's very touching."