Veterans Memorial Grove and
The Battle of Mogadishu Monument
Dedicated April 20, 2007
Veterans Memorial Grove was created to be a peaceful spot in which to contemplate the sacrifices of the more than 43 million veterans who have served in the United States since its birth in 1776. To symbolize these sacrifices for freedom, 43 new trees, one for each million veterans to serve, were planted in a 6 acre arboretum located behind West Perry High School. In autumn, the falling of the leaves will bring a reminder of the burdens endured by the families of fallen veterans. However, the greening and flowering of the trees in spring will provide a vision of renewal, rebirth, and hope for the future.
Veteran’s Memorial Grove was dedicated along with the Mogadishu Memorial. This memorial consists of two boulders, each containing a bronze plaque. One plaque lists the names of the 19 men killed in the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993, including Randall Shughart, a posthumous Medal of Honor recipient whose parents live in Perry County. This action was depicted in the movie “Black Hawk Down.” The other plaque contains the Ranger’s Creed in honor of the U.S. Army Rangers, who participated in the Battle of Magadishu. Of the 43 trees planted in Veteran’s Grove, 19 are Acer Rubrum October Glory maple trees, which further pay homage to the 19 soldiers killed during that battle. Randall Shughart’s parents, as well as Earl Fillmore’s mother and many members of the Fillmore family unveiled the monument.
A future memorial will be placed in the grove for Jason Frye & Brent Dunkleberger, David Dietrich, and Scott Ball. Jason, Brent and Scott were West Perry graduates. David graduated from Susquenita High School. Jason, Brent and David were killed in action in Iraq. Scott was killed in action in Afghanistan. The planning of this memorial will begin after the conclusion of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.