The American Veterans Traveling Tribute arrived in Union Township Thursday featuring a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
The wall is engraved with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who died in the Vietnam War. The tribute also contains memorials to veterans of other wars, as well as police and firefighters who died in the line of duty.
Jennifer Grove walked the wall Friday with one veteran
frustrated over the impacts of the political stalemate.
"These are some of the finest
people in our nation and they weren't around to take leadership roles in our
nation then and they should have been," Vietnam Army Veteran Chuck Brewer said.
"They should have been."
Brewer and his wife Mary Lou
walked the wall for the first time alongside school groups armed with pencils
and paper to chronicle those that were lost.
"I went in ‘64 and got out in
‘67," Brewer shared, looking at the memorial wall. "I carry a burden for all of
those that did serve and didn't come home."
Brewer remembers how
difficult it was coming back from the war years ago. Now there is a sense of
disloyalty from the very government they fought for during that time.
"I feel like these
politicians just don't care about us," he told FOX19.
In Clermont County, the names
of fallen soldiers can be seen, touched, and photographed, but 500 miles away
in Washington D.C. those same names are blocked by barricades leaving many
anxious to see the political barricades on Capitol Hill come down.
"They feel no accountability
to us at all and we put them there and we pay their salary," Brewer said of the
politicians. "Yeah I'm a little angry about it as well as everyone out here
Brewer says he's never seen such political gridlock.
"I don't care what kind of
political affiliation you have, there's definite problems there," he argued.
"We've got to get it straightened out. And it all starts at the ballot box."
For those who have not had the opportunity to see the original memorial
in D.C., or simply would like to pay their respects to all military
service members, the tribute will be on display through Sunday. It's free and open to the public at Veteran's Park, located at 906 Clough Pike.
You can read additional information about the tribute here.