Ozark monument built to honor Wiregrass troops that died in Vietnam
A new monument has been unveiled in Ozark, Alabama, that honors the men from the Wiregrass region of Alabama who died serving their country in the Vietnam War.
According to a report from WTVY the 50 men from Dale, Coffee, Geneva and Houston counties who perished serving the country in Vietnam will be forever memorialized outside the Dale County Commission building in Ozark.
USMC retired Master Sergeant Harry Grainger told WTVY about how many families in the Wiregrass cannot make it to Washington, D.C. to observe the offical memorial.
“So we wanted to do something here in the state of Alabama to recognize these people,” he reasoned.
The monument takes the shape of a pentagon and is styled in a similar manner to the iconic memorial in Washington, D.C.
The site was dedicated by Vietnam Veterans of America chapters 373 and 607.
Funding for the $13,000 memorial came from across the community.
Vietnam veterans were often subject to derision and ridicule when they returned home due to the profligate anti-war sentiment of the era.
“I’m a firm believer that veterans should be recognized. We were not recognized when we came home,” retired E6 James Johnson of the U.S. Navy, a Vietnam veteran, told WTVY.
Grainger concluded his remarks to WTVY’s Carmen Fuentes, saying, “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.”