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'The Wall that Heals': Replica of Vietnam Memorial coming to Butte this summer

Posted at 7:23 PM, Jun 06, 2024

BUTTE — A replica of the Vietnam Memorial is coming to Butte. It has the names of everyone who made the ultimate sacrifice in that war, including the 22 from Butte. It’s known as the Wall that Heals, and for those who have lost relatives in that war, the pain is still fresh.

“I remember the day that he passed. The neighbor jumped over the fence because he heard nana crying,” said Julie Rademacher Clifford whose uncle died in the Vietnam War.

Clifflord was just six years old when her uncle Daniel Janhunen was killed in the war. His name will be on the three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial coming to Butte in late August that will be on display at Father Sheehan Park.

The traveling memorial is designed to help fellow veterans and family members, like those of Daniel Janhunen, find peace.

“Our family has worked at keeping his memory alive throughout the years. He was just a wonderful young guy who died far too young,” said Clifford.

Vietnam veterans like Bill Fisher are looking forward to seeing the names on the memorial.

“It means a lot to me because I know some of them, so when I look up a name that I recognize it means something. Yes, it does,” said Fisher.

Marine veteran Micheal Taapken spent more than a year working to get the Wall that Heals memorial to Butte.

“If I can just touch one life and help just one person maybe have closure or to kick start the PTSD healing process again, it’ll be worth it,” said Taapken.

That’s what the family of Daniel Janhunen hopes this memorial will do.

“Yes, it’s going to be a memory that hopefully helps all of us heal more,” said Clifford.

The memorial will be at Father Sheehan Park from Aug. 27 to Sept. 2