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Indiana honors MIA Vietnam War vets in emotional ceremony

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Friday is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It’s a day to honor those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice in that war. 

Hundreds of Hoosiers gathered at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument for the “bricks of honor” dedication ceremony. Fifty-one bricks now lie on the north side of Monument Circle, with one brick for each of Indiana’s 50 veterans who are missing in action and one civilian. 

The sibling of a MIA Vietnam veteran, Joy Lautzenheiser Brinduse, said, “There’s really no other place in Indianapolis that honors just those that are missing in action.” 

For these 51 families, many questions remain unanswered. These bricks provide a place they can remember loved ones. 

Vietnam War veteran Peter Lautzenheiser said, “To put this in the community in the middle of the capital is particularly meaningful for the support of these families.” 

The ceremony was full of military tradition and stories of combat. It ended with a roll call of all 51 names. 

News 8 spoke to a few of those attending Friday’s event about what they hope these bricks mean to Hoosiers. Luonna Lancaster said she hopes that people “understand they are very real human beings that have given of their time and life and dedication to help our country.” 

Vietnam war veteran Andrew Thimlar said, “I hope they walk up and look at these bricks and it would touch their heart. The sacrifice that was made by a small percentage of this country for the freedoms we enjoy every day.” 

Funds for the bricks were raised by Daughters of the American Revolution