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Visitors pay respects at ‘Wall that Heals’ to loved ones, friends lost during Vietnam War

(Update: Adding video, comments from visitors, veterans)

LA PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) --The Wall that Heals, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., is now set up in La Pine and had its first full day of the exhibition Thursday, full of the emotions one would expect at such an event, and is seen every day at the memorial in our nation's capital.

The Wall is a three-quarter-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and stands 7.5 feet tall and 375 feet long for community members to engage with.

It has the engraved names of the more than 58,000 men and women who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. 

“It is very emotional. It’s a very emotional experience,” said Mike Casciato, a Vietnam veteran.

Casciato is one of hundreds who stopped by Thursday to visit the Wall, which is calling La Pine its home until Sunday.

People from all around the state visited to share kind words and memories of those whose names are engraved in the wall.

James McNamara, an Army veteran, had a list of friends names he wanted to pay respects toward.

“They were very good people, and they died thinking they were; we were doing a mission and doing what we were supposed to. We did our best.” McNamara said.

Some visitors were visibly emotional after finding loved ones names engraved on the wall. A few visitors told NewsChannel 21 they couldn’t believe there were over 58,000 names on the wall panels.

Schoolchildren were also seen learning about the history of the Vietnam War through educational tours provided by volunteers.

Casciato said bringing the Wall to La Pine helps heal those who served in Vietnam who weren’t always treated well when they returned home.

“I remember when I came back, it wasn’t pleasant. For all those 58,000 that have died, they finally get their due,” Casciato said.

McNamara was able to locate the 25 names of Vietnam veterans he knew.

“They were one of the last Special Forces to go from Okinawa to Vietnam, and they were probably two of the last people that got killed over there,” Casciato said.

If you visit the Wall that Heals, you can first stop by a tent and speak to a volunteer who will help locate names of loved ones on the wall panels.

There is also a Mobile Education Center for the public to view through Sunday. The exhibit, at the Frontier Day grounds on Sixth Street, is open 24 hours a day.

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Leslie Cano

Leslie Cano is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Leslie here.



  1. I was fortunate to see the one in D.C. afterwards I had to sit down for a while, consumed with grief for those who died and those who survived while plagued with demons of war. It is awe-inspiring. What a treasure to bring a replica to Central Oregon. I am disheartened that the flag has become such a divisive symbol, politized by one party. Just a shame. I hope this wall brings 🙏 healing, honor, awareness of the root causes of that war, the consequences of war, and our admiration of these courageous and honorable young men.

    1. I agree, too bad one side claims to be patriots, while waving a flag for someone who tried to overthrow the government. Really sad.

  2. Warm welcome mat out from the city of LaPine, and thanks to the men/women who organized and worked so hard to make this happen. We went over yesterday to pay our respects, caught somewhat off guard by the emotions that suddenly overwhelmed us during the visit. A stop on the way home at Elk Lake for a perfect weather beer and meal left us more than grateful for all we have….and especially thankful to those who have given their lives to keep us all safe.

  3. One of the names on that wall is that of my cousin. Every morning I put up the Flag of the United States of America in his honor. Rest in Peace Billy, see you soon.

    1. What an insensitive comment! I’m a liberal and I’ve visited the wall in DC and also the traveler. I’m saddened by seeing the names of 3 friends and family I lost listed among so, so many other friends and family of my fellow Americans. I’m also filled with gratitude for their sacrifice. I am angered by those who think they’re “losers” or “suckers” or ask “what was in it for them?” If you don’t think those emotions surpass a sense of party or ideology, that’s a reflection on you and what qualities you think make a patriotic citizen. But then, your choice of handle, Trump4life, speaks vo!umes, doesn’t it?

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