Veterans and community members visit the Healing Wall in Chisholm

CHISHOLM, MN – Veterans and members of the Northland community gathered in Chisholm to honor Vietnam’s fallen and missing veterans.

The Healing Wall is a moving scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. that travels the country, allowing veterans who may not necessarily be able to make the trip across the country to view the wall.

This week the wall is in Chisholm.

Rick Holland, a Chisholm native, served in the Vietnam War decades ago.

Today, he and dozens of other local veterans recounted their experiences as they honored their lost friends and family.

“[I plan to ] look at the names of the guys we lost, focus there for a while and let it sink in,” he said.

Set up by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the wall opened with a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony around 11 a.m. Thursday.

Holland and fellow veteran Bill Hanegmon, laid the wreath at the head of the Memorial to honor POW and MIA service members.

“I felt proud and I felt honored…because that’s what honoring is all about,” Holland said.

United Way of Northeast Minnesota contacted VVMF to bring the wall to Chisholm.

Executive Director Erin Shay said she wanted to make the memorial more accessible to those who may not be able to travel to the nation’s capital.

“I think for us…we wanted to bring it here locally and offer it to as many people as possible in our community to have this experience close to home,” Shay said.

The wall is open 24 hours a day to allow customers to visit when they feel most comfortable.

All are welcome to visit.

A ceremony will be held Saturday to honor the 105 area soldiers with names on the wall.

The wall will be in Chisholm until 2 p.m. Sunday.

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