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IMG_1589-2Larry Tanner: They Say It Heals

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The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is sacred ground, whether in our nation’s capitol or represented by the half-scale traveling replica known as “The Wall that Heals.”  The names of casualties carved into the monument are small, but permanent. Each represents a lost life—a buddy, loved one, a citizen.

The names evoke powerful memories for the men and women who served during the war. “It’s a remembrance of sad times,” Larry Tanner says. He was there as a young Marine. Now he is a member of Beaver County Chapter 862 of Vietnam Veterans of America, host of this year’s local presentation of The Wall.

Our latest audio short story is based on a recent late-night visit to the memorial on September 27, 2014.  At times silent shadows would softly appear, meandered through the grounds, and then the unknown visitors would melt back into the pre-dawn darkness.  “People come and go like this,” said one of the volunteer memorial guides.  He’s a Vietnam veteran.  “Many of these late-night visitors were there, too.  Some never make it into the park.  They keep their distance.  Everyone has their own way of visiting The Wall and remembering.  We don’t judge.  We’re just here to welcome them home.”