The Wall That Heals, a mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., arrived in La Pine Tuesday as part of a nationwide tour.
Visitors are able to view names of specific service members, learn facts about them, and do rubbings of individual names, but some local motorcyclists did even more to show respect.
Richard Kruger was one of about 50 riders who followed behind The Wall That Heals trailer to its temporary spot at the Frontier Days Fairground.
“It’s not only for La Pine it’s for the whole state,” Kruger said. “And it’s for a whole generation.”
Kruger says he would not be surprised if he knows close to 1,000 Vietnam War veterans, making this ride even more special.
“All of those kids and those names on that wall were there because they were drafted,” Kruger said. “They didn’t have a choice. So that’s something that needs to be relayed to the kids of today.”
The Wall That Heals is touring 28 other cities in 18 states with La Pine being the only stop in Oregon.
“La Pine is a Purple Heart City,” Curtis Cray, rider said. “We’re just very honored to have this come to our town.”
58,279 names are displayed honoring the millions of Americans who served in Vietnam, including rider Jaimie Cray’s father and four uncles.
“I get to escort this wall in, I get to bring them home and say thank you. Thank you for your service, thank you for what you did,” Cray said. “My dad is my hero, so he inspired me to join the Marine Corps and I’m just really glad I get to do this for him and everybody that he lost.”
The Wall That Heals will be on display in La Pine from September 30th to October 3rd.
Frontier Days Event Land
16260 6th Street
La Pine, OR 97739