MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - This year marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. To commemorate the anniversary, for the next few days, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. is on display at Fort Snelling base camp.
The Memorial is actually a traveling wall with a mobile museum that's constantly on the move across the country. There is a waiting list for communities to get the Memorial, so many here are considering themselves honored they have a chance to view it.
“We had dozens of motorcyclists escort us in from the state line this morning,” said Tim Tetz of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
The escort was made up of people from the Minnesota Patriot Guard.
“I was fortunate enough and honored enough to be a part of the escort,” said Bill Erickson of the Patriot Guard.
Once on site, Tim Tetz and his crew unload then rebuild 250 feet of powder coated aluminum that make up the memorial. That is a half scale replica of the one in Washington D.C. featuring more than 58,000 names – 1,075 from Minnesota.
Names like 20-year-old army medic Ronald Krebsbach from St. Paul.
“I’ve seen this once before, but it’s a place where I can come and see my dad’s name,” Ronald’s daughter Angela said.
Angela was born a month after her father was killed in Vietnam and never got the chance to meet him. She sees this memorial as a place where she can find peace in knowing the father she never met.
“He went to attend to a soldier who had been wounded and in the process of doing so was shot by a sniper.” Angela Krebsbach said. “I wish he was here.”
The Minnesotans Military Appreciation Fund helped bring this traveling wall to Fort Snelling for the very first time. It's been in Minnesota before, but never to Fort Snelling.
“It's always one of those things we try to be everywhere, but we can’t be there,” Tetz said.
Along with the wall, the truck turns into a mobile museum, featuring mementoes and memories from the past. The hope is, the next generation appreciates the sacrifice.
“So obviously just with the passage of time, there's a tendency to forget about things that happened in the past,” said Tetz.
After the four day stop in the Twin Cities, the wall and mobile museum will be on the road again, heading to Roanoke, VA. Starting Thursday, the wall will be open for free to the public, until Sunday evening.
For a full list of the scheduled events, click here.