RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – A replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall from Washington is temporarily set up in Mission, honoring Vietnam fallen soldiers who once called the Rio Grande Valley home.
Family members who lost a loved one serving in the military gathered this morning, paying tribute to the brave soldiers who fought the Vietnam war.
“To me personally because my dad was killed in Vietnam, it means a lot to me. I did go to Washington D.C. back in the day to go see the wall, but for people that can’t travel to Washington D.C. and all the veterans who have passed and died in the Vietnam War, it’s here and it’s a symbol of heroism,” said Eddie Magallane, Vietnam Veteran’s son.
Eddie Magallane says he still feels his dad’s absence, Sergeant Noe Magallane, who died on September 23, 1996.
“53 years later it still hurts. It’s still rooted deep inside. He sacrificed his life, you know we’re here. Overwhelming experience to be here with the wall behind me with my dad’s name on it,” said Magallane.
Just like Mission was home to Sergeant Magallane, the Rio Grande Valley was home to 146 fallen Vietnam service members, listed on the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall.
“It is the largest traveling wall, Vietnam Veteran traveling wall, it’s an 80% scale replica of the one that’s in Arlington in D.C.,” said David Flores, Mission Deputy City Manager.
The memorial pays tribute to over 58,000 Vietnam Veterans who lost their lives during the war.
“We acknowledge the sacrifices that were made by those that went before us and those that come behind us,” said Flores.
The 360 feet wide wall will be at the Mission Events Center until Sunday and then headed to Corpus Christi, essentially traveling across Texas for veteran family members to pay their respects.
The City of Mission will host a special ceremony at the Mission Events Center tomorrow at four in the afternoon, paying tribute to the brave Vietnam veterans.