An opening ceremony was held Thursday morning at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery for The Wall that Heals, a traveling replica of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.

The Wall has been set up at the cemetery, along with a visitors center, and will remain there until 1 p.m. Sunday.

Approximately 100 veterans and public officials attended the brief ceremony, which is part of an ongoing effort to provide a delayed welcome home to those who served in the Vietnam War.

Retired Lt. Col. Pat Christ, a Harker Heights resident and Vietnam War veteran, served as keynote speaker. He made it clear that no matter if people saw the Vietnam War as good or bad, necessary or unnecessary, the memory of the more than 58,000 men and women who died as a result should be honored, and the living veterans respected for their service.

Christ added that people must learn from history. “We do not want to repeat the Vietnam War.”

Doug Gault, Veterans Land Board on-site representative, invited volunteers to come Sunday at 1 p.m. to help retrieve the wall, or take it down. The Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery is at 11463 State Road 195, south of Killeen.

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