Moving Wall evokes memories of the Vietnam War

Visitors pause before The Moving Wall in Boonville Sunday. The half-size Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica is the oldest of its kind.

A local Vietnam veteran said Sunday the Moving Wall offers a chance to come to terms with what he experienced in the Vietnam War.

Bob Bosma helped bring the Moving Wall, a traveling half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to Boonville for the townâ??s annual Heritage Days festival this weekend. Bosma served as a medic in Vietnam and personally knew some of the men listed on the wall.

â??Many of the names on the wall mean some very personal things to me,â?? he said.

Bosma said three of the men killed in Vietnam were from Boonville, while New Franklin and Fayette lost two men each. Boy Scouts staffed the memorial all weekend, helping people locate names on the wall. Luke Johnson said the stories veterans tell him illustrate freedomâ??s high price.

â??Itâ??s very interesting, all the people coming in, their stories after you help them find a name,â?? he said.

Bosma said he still carries the memories of the soldiers he could not save.

â??No amount of logic can take away the fact that they were mine and I lost them,â?? he said. â??And so being here, with those, with those names on the wall, is good therapy for me.â??

The Moving Wall is one of several replicas of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that tour the country. According to its website, the first Moving Wall was displayed in October 1984, two years after the memorial in Washington, D.C. was dedicated.