ENID, Okla. — Oklahomans from across the state gathered in Enid Monday morning for a very special Veterans Day ceremony featuring The Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park at the Enid Woodring Regional Airport.
It features more than 58,000 names of those whose lives were lost during the Vietnam War.
Rather than traveling to Washington D.C. to see it, this wall is an 80 percent replica that was created to come to Americans.
As soon as the City of Enid found it was being retired, they pulled together to raise the money to make their town the wall’s final resting place.
Vietnam Veteran Ron Cooper says, “It’s been a long time coming.”
The man who built it, Don Allen says, the wall has been touched by more than 200 communities.
“A few of the names etched on this wall behind us where of men in my command. I am internally bound to them,” says Allen. “This wall is an old solider now. It’s got a lot of battle scars on it and it’s earned every single one of them.”
Veterans traveled from near and far to see it for themselves, including a man who was a prisoner of war alongside Sen. John McCain.
Colonel Leon Ellis says, “Those of us who came home must never let those who could not be forgotten.”
Sgt. Bob Farrell, “Honor it. Heal by it. Always use it to educate our youth that freedom isn’t free.”
Vietnam Veteran Ron Cooper looks at the wall and says he recognizes too many names.
“We lost our share of men,” says Cooper. “I thank God that people remember.”
To brothers Percy and Charles Campbell, this wall is beautiful.
Percy Campbell says, “It means a lot.”
Charles Campbell says, “People don’t know it takes you so far back, there are so many memories, hardships.”
Enid’s mayor says the Woodring Wall of Honor and Veterans Park will be open every day of the year starting today.
Governor Fallin has declared the park Oklahoma’s official tribute to Vietnam Veterans with legislation passed earlier this year.