Wednesday, February 21

Fort Wayne’s Vietnam Memorial Wall is Positively Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – In the Spring of 2021, the Veterans National Memorial Shrine and Museum unveiled the Vietnam Memorial Wall, an 80% replica of the original Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C. It’s now a permanent display on the grounds that draws visitors near and far to reflect and remember our fallen heroes.

This Memorial Day, WANE 15 met with two local Vietnam War veterans who explained what Memorial Day means to them, and what the Vietnam Wall means to veterans and families of fallen service members.

“If you look at the names on the wall that we’re standing next to, that’s who it’s all about. My day is Veterans Day, but my fallen brothers and sisters, it is Memorial Day and it’s all about them,” said Vietnam War veteran Patrick Fraizer. “It isn’t about picnics, it isn’t about family outings, it’s not a sale at a store, it’s about the fallen heroes, the women and men who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their lives. As God did for our sins, a veteran did for our freedom.”

The Vietnam Memorial Wall at the shrine off of O’Day Road has thousands of names etched into the black stone. On it, 79 veterans from Fort Wayne, and 1,500 from Indiana.

Vietnam War veterans Patrick Fraizer and Eric Johnson sit at the Memorial Wall

Vietnam War veteran Eric Johnson knows a handful of names on the wall, and he visits them each time he’s there.

“That hits home because we know those guys and we sit here and enjoy the freedom today of being able to come to the wall, but when you think about what their sacrifice was, and how their families are suffering today still 50 years later, it just does our heart good to come out here and visit the wall and see their names and talk to them,” said Johnson.

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People come from all across the region to visit the wall. Johnson says he’s met people from Michigan, Idaho, Ohio and more. Some come to find closure they’ve been searching for for many years.

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