Veterans from southern Illinois travel to Paducah to see The Wall That Heals


PADUCAH — A group of veterans from southern Illinois boarded a bus to make a trip to the Wall That Heals.

The group was escorted to the wall by combat veterans and members of the McCracken County Sheriff’s Department. The trip was sponsored by Shawnee Mass Transit.

The trip meant a lot to the people on the bus. While on their way, they talked about the importance of the wall. One veteran, Jim Saylors, said the Vietnam Soldiers Prayer to start the journey.

The prayers starts like this: “The battle was over the poor village in Vietnam. That’s when I noticed the soldier with a Bible in his hands.”

It’s a prayer Saylors recites often, but he would tell you it’s not enough.

“We owe them a debt of honor that can never be repaid. No matter what they say. No matter what they come up with, the history of Vietnam. It’s a debt of honor that can never be forgotten,” said Saylors.

He has visited the wall several times. He said every name on it has been written on his heart.

“Whoever raised his right hand and took the oath is my brother, regardless: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine. It doesn’t matter. We were all one lean, mean, green machine fighting for one thing. That was the honor of our nation,”Saylors said.

One of those names is John Brimm. He was killed in Vietnam when he was around 19.  His brother, Donald Brimm, said he is honored to see his brother’s name on the wall for the first time.

“I’m glad. He’s not here with us, but his memory is in our mind and our hearts,” said Brimm.

Saylors said it’s important for everyone to carry those memories in their hearts.

“We must never, never forget,” said Saylors.

The prayer ends with an important question that every veteran on the wall had the courage to ask and the courage to die for. And now it’s up to us answer it.

“And here’s a decision that all men must decide. Can we live in peace? Or must our nations die? Help us father to find a way to. My savior, this I pray,” read Saylors.

Saylors said even though he doesn’t get around as well as he used to, he would not hesitate to jump into another uniform to defend our freedom.