Vietnam memorial wall erected in Ozark

OZARK, Al. (WTVY) -- 2.7 million Americans fought in the Vietnam War.

Vietnam memorial wall in Ozark to honor the vets who lost their lives during the war.

More than 58,000 paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

50 of those who died are from here in the Wiregrass.

Now they are being remembered in Dale County.

USMC retired Master Sergeant, Harry Grainger got the idea for the memorial wall from the National Memorial in Washington D.C.

“We got a lot of veterans and families that have never been able to make that trip. So we wanted to do something here in the state of Alabama to recognize these people” Grainger explained.

Those people are 50 veterans from Dale, Coffee, Geneva and Houston counties who bravely fought in the Vietnam War.

One name that didn’t make the wall- US Army retired Master Sergeant John Lowry - who passed away yesterday from cancer caused by Agent Orange used in Vietnam.

Grainger says “In order to be on the wall, in the granite, you must have died in Vietnam or a direct result of an incident in Vietnam.”

The wall, which cost $13,000 was made possible thanks to donations from the community.

Now the wall sits in front of the Dale County Commission building for everyone to see.

“We wanted to put it some place that, number one, would be easy access for the people that want to come down and view it” said Grainger.

Although the wall is up, the project is not 100 percent complete.

The 373 chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America are selling brick pavers that can have messages written on them and will then be laid as a walk-way around the wall.

“We are selling those to individuals and businesses, anybody that would like to honor the vietnam veterans” Grainger explained.

Vietnam veteran, retired E6 James Johnson of the US Navy knows what it’s like to support those who have served.

“When desert storm took place the first people to welcome those young people home was Vietnam veterans” Johnson said

It is because of sacrifice that Johnson is grateful to have a wall that honors those who served in Vietnam.

“I’m a firm believer that veterans should be recognized. We were not recognized when we came home” Johnson continued.

Now Vietnam veterans from around the Wiregrass will always remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives for ours.

“Our motto is ‘we’ll never let one generation forget another generation’ of veterans like they forgot us. And doing things like this makes that happen” Grainger concluded.

If you would like an order form to purchase a brick paver, you can contact the Vietnam Veterans of America chapter #373 at (334) 598-8804.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus