Veterans are raising awareness about the Vietnam War.
Members of the CSRA Vietnam War Memorial Initiative are building a memorial to honor local soldiers who died serving their country in Vietnam.
NewsChannel 6 has been following the progress of the VWMI’s plan to honor the fallen.
Friday they broke ground on the site where the memorial will be built on 4th Street.
It’s often called the forgotten war, and many of the veterans who fought in Vietnam have worked to get a memorial to honor their service and sacrifice.
After a year and half of planning, the space behind the Korean Memorial will finally have a monument.
“Most of our 15,000 Vietnam veterans are still alive and well,” said Vietnam Var Initiative chairman, Dr. James Brady. “They are in their 70s’ and 80s’. This is an opportunity for the community to say thank you to them and they have.”
To mark the 50th anniversary, the organization has raised more than $100,000 to fund the project. Dr. Brady says he is excited to bring the forgotten war to the city of Augusta.
“We have a Veteran’s Day and a Memorial Day ceremony down here all the time,” said Dr. Brady. “It’s always been painfully obvious to me there was a memorial missing.”
One person who played a role says the monument will explain the history of the war to the people in the River Region.
“I remember the times they were spat on; even on the streets they didn’t want to speak up and say they have served,” said Susan Jordan Campbell.
Her husband says it will memorialize the 169 local service members who sacrificed their lives.
“It’s good that a group of organizations has come together to say to those folks, your service was appreciated it,” explained member of the Vietnam War Initiative, Tim Campbell.
National Vietnam War Day is right around the corner; the monument is coming just in time.
“There are so many from our time-period are now sorry that they treated our service men and women that fought in that war,” said Jordan-Campbell.
“The 169 made the ultimate sacrifice,” explained Campbell. “Some of us gave their all, and they gave everything.”
Dr. Brady adds the Vietnam War Memorial Initiative will have a dedication ceremony for the unveiling of the monument.
The ceremony will be March 29th on the intersection of 3rd and 4th street.
The mayor of Augusta and other keynote speakers are expected to attend.
Photojournalist: Antony Sherrod