Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom is one of our greatest responsibilities as Americans. We remove our hats during the playing of the national anthem, place our hand on our hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance, adorn the graves of the heroes who fought for our freedom and we honor them with memorials, monuments and ceremonies.
One of these tributes, The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, will be on display at the Greene County Fairgrounds from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2. The wall will be free and open to the public 24 hours a day during the time of the display. There is truly no excuse to miss it and share it with family and friends.
This wall is a three-fifths scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. It stands six feet tall and covers 300 feet from end to end. There are 58,272 names listed on the wall. The event, “A Greene County Salute to Vietnam Veterans,” is sponsored by the VFW Waynesburg Post No. 4793 and Greene County Veterans Council. We owe a huge debt of gratitude for their efforts in bringing this here to us. There will be an opening ceremony to post the colors. There will also be at least two local community members standing guard during the entire showing.
“Bringing the Traveling Memorial to Waynesburg for the purpose of recognizing local Vietnam veterans, helping heal and rekindle friendships and to allow people the opportunity to visit loved ones in their home town, who otherwise may not be able to make the trip to Washington, we believe, is a great opportunity for the community,” says Mike Belding, Greene County Vietnam Veteran’s Traveling Memorial Wall Committee member. “Veterans, relatives, friends and the general public will have the opportunity to give thanks, remember the sacrifices our service members and their families endure and pay tribute to those who have served to keep our country free.”
Also, prior to the closing ceremony on October 1, Warriors Rock will be held at Waynesburg Central High School at 3:00 pm. This moving concert features interviews with local Vietnam Veterans.
One local name, listed on the wall, will also soon receive another remembrance. Recently, the State House and Senate unanimously approved legislation to name a Greene County bridge as the Pfc. Brent A. McClellan Memorial Bridge. After graduating from Jefferson-Morgan in 1963, McClellan, 21, joined the U.S. Army. On Feb. 28, 1966, he was killed in South Vietnam while assigned to the 1st Platoon, B Company, 5th Calvary in the Army’s 1st Calvary Division.
At the request of a group of community citizens, Rep. Pam Snyder introduced the bill to the State House. “This bridge will ensure McClellan’s sacrifice will not be forgotten. The bridge along Castile Run Road, spanning the South Fork of Ten Mile Creek between Jefferson Township and Clarksville Borough, will forever honor this young patriot,” Snyder says.
The Traveling Memorial stands as a reminder of the great sacrifices made by McClellan and many others and allows those who may not be able to make the trip to D.C. to experience the healing power of the wall. Please take the opportunity to share this event with your family and friends. Take a child who may not yet fully comprehend the sacrifices made or someone who may remember too well, but are not able to drive themselves. Make the time to come and honor those who gave so much for all of us.
For more information on “A Greene County Salute to Veterans,” contact Rick Black, event chairman at 724-998-0598. For more information on Warrior’s Rock, contact Kim at 412-401-1044.