SCARBOROUGH, Maine — A replica of the Vietnam Wall brought hundreds of people to Scarborough this Independence Day.
“These guys, God rest their souls, gave their lives for the country,” said Mike Quigley of Lebanon.
“I came in during that time frame,” said George Leonard of Kittery. “We were close to going, but then a peace treaty was signed so I stayed here.”
The replica is the only Vietnam Wall that some veterans will ever see.
“A lot of emotions,” said Leonard. “It hits me right here.”
The wall is 80 percent the size of the real one in Washington D.C. But, like the real wall, it holds the name of every military member who died.
It’s a traveling tribute brought to Cabela’s in Scarborough by the Wounded Heroes Program of Maine.
And it just happened to be available July Fourth weekend.
“Fourth of July truly celebrates everything that every name on this wall stands for,” said program founder Pam Payeur.
Arnold Saucier of Springvale lost a couple of his friends while serving in ’69 and ’70.
On Friday, he found their names.
“It means a lot, means a lot,” he said.
Leonard said it’s too easy to forget.
“We had a commander say at the end of the Gulf War, ‘Don’t expect nothing. You’ll be a forgotten person,’” said Leonard. “I’ve always remembered those words. I try to take that to heart, but you are forgotten until something like this comes along.”
A special ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. on Saturday. The wall will be taken down at 3 p.m. on Sunday.