The Fourth of July in Gladstone has added significance this year. Itâ??s the cityâ??s 125th anniversary, and city officials have brought in the Traveling Vietnam Wall. It's drawing locals, tourists, and veterans to Van Cleve Park.
â??The biggest thing that I see is the number,â?? says Joseph Wolfe, who spent two years in the U.S. Army. â??I canâ??t believe the sheer number of seeing how many names are on the wall. You can see that every name represents a life."
This was the first time Wolfe had ever seen the wall. â??Behind our freedoms, there is the ultimate sacrifice, and it's paid for in blood by young Americans and older Americans alike,'' says Wolfe.
City officials say they're astounded with the impact the memorial wall is having on the public.
â??I hope everyone comes down and just observes the wall,â?? says city manager, Darla Falcon. â??It's such an honor, and itâ??s important to remember all the veterans today who help preserve our freedoms."
The Fourth of July parade Wednesday drew thousands. However, there are still a lot of visitors who visit, stay for a moment, and remember.
â??A lot of people have been filtering through to try to find their friends or loved ones or comrades on the wall,â?? says Mayor Darin Hunter. â??I think the turnout has been great, and I think the turnout will continue to be good for the whole rest of the week."
The wall is open 24/7, and it's free to view. You still have from now until Saturday to check out the wall if you haven't already done so. On Saturday at 9:15 a.m., there will be presentations by Vietnam veterans, and at 8 p.m., the wall will come down.