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‘Wall That Heals’ comes to Belvidere, honoring Vietnam veterans

It’s called the Wall That Heals, and for many, it helps as they mourn their loved ones that were killed in the Vietnam War.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Danny Harris was a marine in the Vietnam War from 1965 until 1966, when he got wounded and sent state-side. But many of Harris’s friends never made it back home.

“For people that was never there, it’s hard to explain to them how tough it was,” said Harris. “One day they were there, and the next day they were gone.”

Gone, but never forgotten. That is the idea behind the Wall That Heals, and this replica of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial makes its way to Belvidere, displaying more than 58,000 names of soldiers killed in the war.

Tuesday afternoon, the Wall That Heals truck was escorted by police, firemen, and community members from all over to the Boone County Fairgrounds where the wall will be built.

“This is the first time I’ve cried when I’ve seen something like this,” said Veteran Walter Fuchs.

And just like Harris, Walter Fuchs mourns the death of his fellow veterans, but Fuchs says the hardest loss for him, didn’t happen until after the war.

“My buddy was over there in ‘68, during the Tet,” said Fuchs. “The guy in front of him stepped on a land mine, and my buddy lost both of his legs.”

Not long after Fuchs’s friend was sent home to heal, he made the decision to get behind the wheel, and drive more than 120 miles per hour into a bridge, killing himself.

“He couldn’t take it,” said Fuchs. “Their bodies came home, but their minds didn’t, they died in ‘Nam.”

Because of that Fuchs goes out of his way to help soldiers who experience trauma. He says when the community honors heroes through events like the Walls that Heals parade, it can change a veterans life.

“Seeing stuff like this wall...” said Fuchs. “Cause I know what my brothers and sisters that didn’t come back did.”

Tuesday afternoon, the Wall That Heals truck was escorted by police, firemen, and community members from all over to the Boone County Fairgrounds where the wall will be built Wednesday, after that it will be open until Sunday.

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