Traveling Vietnam Memorial Visits Oklahoma

Thursday, September 27th 2007, 9:09 pm
By: News On 6

A smaller, traveling version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial called ‘The Moving Wall’ makes a stop in Broken Arrow. This is the only time it will be in the state this year. News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports it's in Broken Arrow, at the exact spot where the wall sits that one of the honorees grew up.

On Thursday Oklahomans came by the dozens to honor the thousands who died in Vietnam. Names forever etched on the wall. John R. Gainer's family couldn't wait to find his.

“I miss him everyday,” said Gainer’s mother D. Gainer.

John, who was better known as Buddy, grew up in Broken Arrow. In fact he lived on the very land where the memorial sits.

“It was our home. We played here, we roped here, we were a family in the true sense that we did everything together,” said Gainer’s sister Pete Gainer.

But when duty called Buddy had to leave home for Vietnam.

“He was a great son,” D. Gainer said. “He was a champion state wrestler, he went to OU on a wrestler scholarship, and when he came home it was time for him to go. So he said I'll go get it over with.”

He was killed six weeks later. Buddy was only 21, but he'd already left his mark.

“He was just something else,” said D. Gainer. “Everybody in Broken Arrow can tell you that. When he died all the stores closed, the banks closed, everything was closed. Twenty years after he was killed the “Tulsa Tribune” did a memorial to him.”

And ‘The Moving Wall’ is another way to honor him and those who fought with him.

“There was a time when those men weren't honored. I feel with the honor this wall brings everyone is being honored as they should be,” Pete Gainer said.

‘The Moving Wall’ will be at the Blue Bell plant until Sunday. It's at U.S. Highway 51 and 81st Street. There are nightly ceremonies starting at 6 p.m., but the plant says you can view the wall at any time.

Watch the video: Moving Vietnam Wall Memorial In Oklahoma