Vietnam Wall Replica Arrives

By Julie Montanaro
October 10, 12:30pm

A replica of the Vietnam Memorial arrived in Tallahassee Tuesday morning and it was escorted by more than 100 motorcycles. Many of the riders are Vietnam vets were paying special tribute to their fallen comrades.

More than 100 bikers joined a procession down Thomasville Road, down Monroe Street past the Florida Capitol. It looped back and ultimately wound up at Culley's Meadowwood on Timberlane Road where veterans will help to assemble a three-quarter size replica of the Vietnam Memorial there.

People all along the procession route stopped, dog walkers, tree trimmers. Some waved, some saluted. It's going to be a very special weekend for Vietnam veterans in the area.

Vietnam vet Steve Caldwell is anxious to see the names on the wall.

"I was on a helicopter. It got shot down. Everybody else got killed but me. I was lucky enough to get out. I was kind of like, you know, want to touch their names and just sort of remember them. Sort of glad I'm not with them, but at the same time I'm praying for them."

The wall travels across the country to give those who can't travel to Washington, DC a chance to pay their respects, and in some cases look up old friends.

Local vets will start reading the names of some 58,000 missing and dead on Thursday morning and will read those names around the clock until Sunday afternoon.

Opening ceremonies are Friday at 10 a.m. There's a candlelight ceremony Friday night at 7:30 p.m., a Purple Heart ceremony Saturday at 11 a.m. and closing ceremonies Sunday at 4 p.m.