West Perry School District

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Vietnam War Monument

Dedicated May 26, 2006

Vietnam War Monument Photo Gallery

Our Eleven: Stories of Perry Countians Killed in the Vietnam War

"The Wall"  by Sergeant Major J. R. (Bob) Mulkey

Vietnam Memorial

            After the dedication of monuments honoring veterans of World War II and the Korean War, it was only fitting that a monument be dedicated to those who fought and died to protect the citizens of Vietnam.  This monument is doubly important due to the fact that veterans returning from Vietnam were not given the welcome home that they deserved.  The design for the monument came from a compilation of ideas and designs submitted in a design contest, and represents Vietnam veterans returning home from the jungle to a scene recognizable as the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  There are stars on the map of Vietnam representing where the Perry Countians were killed “in country.”  In addition to the main stone, there are two beveled stones to the sides, which contain the phrase “They Gave All They Had” on each, and the names of the 11 Perry Countians killed during the conflict.  The India black granite, used in the monument, is the same type used on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Prior to the dedication, State Representative Mark Keller presented medals to over 200 Vietnam era veterans, most of whom were from Perry County.  In addition, a booklet entitled “Our Eleven,” containing stories of the Perry Countians who died in Vietnam, was published in a special supplement in the local newspaper.  All family members received a copy of the booklet and the stories are used in our PA History classes.  Over 80 framed pictures of the new monument were created and presented to the family members of those lost in the conflict.  In addition to the photograph, each frame included a rubbing of the name of that family’s loved one, which were taken from the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.  A luncheon was also provided for 600, including veterans and their family members.  Relatives of all 13 named on the bevels participated in the unveiling.  This included 3 Gold Star Mothers (Swartz, Sheibley & Fry). One (Kline) is homebound and was unable to attend.

Although it rained, some of the ceremony, including the unveiling, occurred outside.  Many have commented that the rain fit the solemn occasion.  Others mentioned that we stood in the rain to show our respect for the sacrifices of our Vietnam veterans.

Last Modified on March 12, 2012