That’s how long it took to read the 58,219 names from the
traveling Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall Experience last weekend in
an effort to commemorate the soldiers who died during the Vietnam
War or are still missing.
The traveling Vietnam Wall memorial was at the Resthaven Funeral
Home, 100 E. County Road 30, to honor Americans who have served in
U.S. military forces
The display is a replication of the Vietnam Wall memorial in
Washington, D.C., and is three-fourths the size of the authentic
Mark Hendricksen, general manager of Resthaven Funeral Home and
Crematory Service Memorial Gardens, requested to have the wall come
to town. The wall travels around the country thanks to sponsorships
and came to Fort Collins by funding provided by the funeral home.
Hendricksen requested to have the wall in hopes of helping those
who were affected by the Vietnam War.
“It is timely that we offer the community this opportunity to
recognize those who served in the war, and those who lost their
lives in the line of duty just a few months after the World War II
Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., and during a time when
many soldiers are still overseas defending our freedom,”
The ceremony opened Friday morning with American flags, the
national anthem, prayers and a F-16 flyover. Twenty-one white doves
were released to signify peace.
A tent displayed veteran John “Fribley” Hosier Jr.’s
photographs, illustrations and war paraphernalia that he collected
over the years. He used this memorabilia to relay the experiences,
truth and emotions felt in Vietnam.
The average age of men and women whose names are inscripted on
the wall is 19 years old. Hosier warned people that when they are
young, they might think they can save the world.
“People should realize that this war (Iraq) is different,”
Hosier said. “Men in their 30s and 40s are being drafted.
Regardless of age, war affects both civilians and troops for the
rest of their lives. It scars the nation.”
It can be a typical day to turn on the TV or open the newspaper
and see another bomb went off, another trooper fell in service or
an innocent civilian was murdered, Hosier said.
While the Vietnam War may not have directly affected many CSU
students, the war in Iraq may have more of an effect. Nate Miller,
a sophomore construction major, served time in Iraq as a convoy
security officer in April. He paid his respects to fellow
servicemen and women by going to the Vietnam Wall memorial.
“There are a lot of people that take for granted what our
service men and women have done in the past and today,” Miller
He felt that almost 95 percent of the troopers in Iraq agreed
with the cause.
“I knew the whole time I was supported by my family and friends
back home. I was probably mailed 40 to 50 letters but only received
two while I was overseas,” Miller said.
Hosier remembered receiving a letter while in Vietnam from a
It read: “Thank you for serving our nation. Thank you for giving
me a safe place to live. I am proud of you as my fellow American
As American citizens, showing support for past, present and
future military servicees can be rewarding and life altering,
“The important thing that the public understands is it doesn’t
matter if a guy’s a cook, jet fighter flier, medical trainee or
photographer, his life is in danger,” Hosier said.