STOCKTON (CBS13) – For the first time in close to a decade, the Vietnam Moving Wall has made its way to San Joaquin County as visitors prepare to honor thousands of veterans.
The replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC is on display for the next five days at the waterfront in Stockton.
Each name on the Vietnam moving wall has a story and it’s how Jessica Maes of Stockton is helping remember and honor those who served in the Vietnam War.
“It gives you goosebumps, it’s like you’re reading their names and on the reflection of the wall you can see the people, not actually coming out but you can see reflections on the wall,” she said.
Maes is just one of the volunteers reading all 58, 322 names.
“It takes about 64 or 65 hours to read these names,” she said.
Her husband, Joseph, a graduate of Franklin High School had the honor of serving his country alongside classmate, Enrique Lorenzo Soliz. Together, they are visiting the wall and paying tribute to his memory.
“Henry apparently didn’t make it back. My husband did, Joseph Maes and all these people, the veterans on the wall, it’s sad because when you as a veteran, were over in Vietnam, you knew them as nicknames.” She said.
“It’s kind of like a homecoming. When I came back from Vietnam we weren’t treated very well and its really nice to come out here and feel like I’m welcomed,” said veteran, Joe Katilus.
Out of the long list of veterans on the moving wall, only about 70 are from Stockton. Three of the men all went to Stagg High School with volunteer Mary Alt’s husband, Ron. They were the class of 1967.
“This is very important for the community to know the sacrifice that our veterans have made, the ultimate sacrifice, their lives and more than anything and even though the veterans gave their life for our country it is his or her family that gave the biggest sacrifice because they lost a member of their family,” said Alt.
Organizers say the city contributed $12,000 to help bring the wall here, and there is a ceremony planned for Saturday at noon.
Organizers say there are no special shuttles for the event so; visitors will have to count on San Joaquin Regional Transit to get them to Weber Point.