OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — While the Fourth of July is a time to celebrate and get together with friends and family, and it’s also a time to remember those who fought for and protected our freedom.
Motorcycle riders from up and down the east coast rolled into Oak Island with a something special for residents and visitors.
“We wanted to bring them the wall. We are escorting the Vietnam Memorial Traveling Wall to Oak Island,” said Gary Anderson, a ride captain with the North Carolina Patriot Guard.
Anderson says many Vietnam veterans can’t go see the original memorial wall in Washington DC so they are bringing a replica to them.
“It’s to honor our Vietnam veterans and have them be able to have closure and to honor their service that they did for this country,” said Anderson.
As a Vietnam veteran Anderson says they didn’t get a warm welcome when they got back from the war, but now they have a chance to be honored and remember those who died.
“But we want to get the Vietnam veterans story out and also help the Vietnam veterans have closure,” said Anderson.
Emmett Salas, a retired marine, says he appreciates this.
“You know the horror stories of us being back but hopefully that can go away because we now feel that we are being welcomed. It’s good for everyone to be among the people that have been in the same situation,” said Salas.
Beginning July 2nd through July 6th the memorial wall will be displayed on the fields behind Middleton Park in Oak Island.
Volunteers will be there 24 hours a day to help people find names. Organizers ask visitors not to bring food or pets but service dogs are allowed.