SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – There are several events taking place for Veteran’s Day. There was a candlelight vigil held on Friday night at the Wall That Heals.
Many people had their heads bowed and candles lit to honor and remember those Vietnam veterans who came home from the war but later died from complications.
“The people who we honor in “in Memory” came back and had some type of life here and has now died from their wounds, or from Agent Orange. We’re able to honor them in a different way,” said veteran, Cynthia Long.
Families paid tribute to their loved ones.
“To talk to a mother, or a sister, or a brother, who is here and able to honor their family member, the words are inconceivable,” said Long.
Many people also came to pay their respects to those whose names are on the wall.
“The part that really hurts me most is on this wall, that we have here, there’s 5 people, 5 guys, 5 military that I either flew with or instructed me,” said Spartanburg County councilman, Bob Walker, who is also a veteran.
“My father’s name is on panel 40W, line 51. He went missing in action on October 28, 1968,” said Cindy Stonebraker Reed.
Cindy Stonebraker Reed’s father has been missing for 55 years.
“I had just turned 6, 10 days before my dad went missing,” she said.
She will never forget the first time she saw the wall.
“Was the first time that I knew anybody still cared and that my dad hadn’t been forgotten,” she said. “Every time I can get to a wall, I go, because I have nowhere else, I can go to visit my dad.”
Tim Walinski was a pilot and helped evacuate troops.
“There was some pretty, pretty harrowing things that were going on while we were trying to do our regular mission. So, I made three trips and brought out around 210, 211 people,” said the veteran.
He came to remember two pilots he saw die.
“It’s nighttime, it’s dark out, and I think they had the red lights on at the time on the ship, so there was some lighting, but they flew right into the water,” he said.
Everyone from those who served to young children, were impressed with the heroes who names are forever engraved.
“I feel really grateful that I get to see all these names that I never knew died in the war for our country,” said Jace Johnston.
“Grateful to be here and honor the people that died,” said Kobe Johnston.
“I’m really grateful because we’re honoring the people that died in the war,” said Blaze Bailey.
The events will continue at the Wall on Saturday. There will be a Veteran’s Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. and a parade at 4 p.m.
On Sunday, there will be a reading of the Hometown Heroes names. The Wall will be disassembled starting at 2 p.m.
“The events will continue here on Saturday , there is a Veteran’s Day Ceremony at 11 and a parade at 4. In Spartanburg Co., AY, 7 News.”