JOHNS CREEK, Ga. (CBS46) -- CBS46 is fighting for our veterans and so is the Johns Creek Veterans Association. Wednesday the organization broke ground for the construction of the “Wall that Heals” replica that currently on displays at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

"These men and women gave everything. They signed a blank check and that’s what all veterans do, they sign a black check that says I love you the American people so much that I’m willing to go wherever my country wants me to go to protect your freedom and your rights and I’m willing to die for that. That’s the blank check”, said Mike Mizell.

Mizell is chairman of Johns Creek Veterans Memorial Walkway. He says they purchased the half-scale replica of the wall that displays more 58,000 names of the brave men and woman who lost their lives while fighting in Vietnam. The plan is to give the wall a new permanent home as part of their current memorial walk.

“We’re going to install 240-feet of the actual half-square model of the wall and that will give us an opportunity to open it up to the public” added Mizell.

The four-acre Johns Creek Veterans Memorial Walk pays tribute to the veterans who fought, as well as those who lost their lives defending our country. And, officials say the addition of the the “Healing Wall” replica, will not only make the memorial the largest in the country but help some local veterans start the process to move past the pain of their service.

“Me being a veteran I have a lot of friends and they say I went to Washington and I didn’t have the guts to go to the wall. See it’s the wall that starts the healing process”, said said Roger Wise, a member of the Johns Creek Veterans Association.

Wise says the impact of the “Healing Wall” became evident when a traveling version of the memorial visited Metro Atlanta back in 2017.

“I was out there Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock and this lady looked over her shoulder and she said Mr. Wise is that you? And I said yes it’s me and she said can you wait a minute I want to introduce you to my son. I waited about 10 or 15 minutes and this grown man gets up from the replica with tears in his eyes and he said thank you for bringing this wall here. I met my father today. His mother was three months pregnant with him when his dad died in Vietnam”, said Wise a member of the Johns Creek Veterans Association.

Wise says after multiple similar experiences he knew they had to get a permanent version of the “Wall that Heals” right here in Metro Atlanta.

“I encourage our veterans to come and take advantage of this start the healing process”, added Wise.

The Johns Creek “Healing Wall” replica is expected to be compete November 18th.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(1) comment

gunnygil

Will there be a ceremony for Viet vets in the area to attend the opening. My great 2 great-granddaughters in Eastland, Texas visited the one they built there a couple of years ago and with the time period I gave them and found names of fellow Marines and 2 Corpsmen I knew on the wall but had not seen any info about in over 50 years. Even had photos of them.

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