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Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee of Lorain County

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PLEASE SIGN OUR GUEST BOOK AND LEAVE YOU THOUGHTS, MEMORIES  AND/OR COMMENTS

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TO LEAVE A  DEDICATION- CLICK LINK BELOW AND ATTACH YOUR JPG, GIF, OR BMP FILE TO YOUR DEDICATION.  If you don't have email - or a scanner - please contact me - and we'll find a way.
 

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DEDICATIONS

Thanks for visiting our site!
 
Thanks for your help in building the Memorial for these 98 brave young men!

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RICHARD LOWELL IRVIN
SP4 - E4 - ARMY - SELECTIVE SERVICE
20 YEARS OLD, BORN AUGUST 6, 1948
FROM SHEFFIELD LAKE, OHIO
His tour of duty began on October 7, 1968
He was killed on August 5, 1969
in LAM DONG, SOUTH VIETNAM
Helicopter - Crew
air loss, crash on land
Panel 20W - Line 97

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I want to do a dedication to my dad
 
Richard L Irvin....
 
I never got to know you, never got a hug or a kiss, never got a pat on the back or a scolding when needed.  You were gone before I would even know your name.  Even though I never got any of those things you left me one of the greatest gifts ever... my freedom.  I can't complain, what child was more loved than me.   
 
Thank you dad!
You will always be in my heart!
 
Your daughter;
Roxi
 
If anyone remembers Richard please let me know.  His helicopter crashed in Lam Dong, South Vietnam.  All I know is that he and the pilot were the only two that perished from that crash.

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John Lewis Kotora

Sergeant
C CO, 1ST BN, 22ND INF RGT, 4 INF DIV
Army of the United States
17 December 1948 - 03 May 1970
Vermilion, OH
Panel 11W Line 092

05 April 2001

John Kotora John Kotora and I served together in Company C 1/22 Infantry, 4th Infantry division.

When John was shot, he had to walk a fairly long distance to reach the LZ where he was dusted off. He made that walk with very little diffuculty and I spoke to him just before the helicopter arrived. He seemed strong and alert. I had no doubt that John was going to be okay. He was a strong guy and had a real positive attitude and looked like he would be alright. Later, I found out he did not survive.

I give thanks for the short time we shared together. I remember you as the good soldier and great person that you were. I remember your sense of humor and your laugh and smile. I won't forget you.

A memorial from his friend and fellow soldier,
Robert Wren

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Sgt. Patrick E. Smith, Jr. Avon, Ohio

In loving memory and honor of my brother, Patrick Edward Smith Jr. who was the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Hearts, Combat Infantry Medal, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service Medal, RVN Military Merit, RVN Gallantry Cross, RVN Campaign Medal and Good Conduct Medal. Pat earned the Silver and Bronze Stars for his deeds the day he was killed.   He was on his 25th air mission, acting squad leader for the 1st Cavalry Division, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry Airmobile. During the mission in Quan An Loc Province, Pat and his men ran into heavy fire. He and several others were seriously wounded. None of us were surprised to hear that Pat, despite his wounds and being amidst intense hostile fire, ignored his wounds in order to get other men to safety. Only after they were safe and out of the line of fire did he permit himself to be evacuated by a helicopter that moments later took enemy fire, then crashed and burned.

Pat's deeds that day were so in character for him - he was always such a loving and caring person. Our love and pride for him is beyond description. We hope and pray that the men he dragged to safety that day came home and are leading full productive happy lives today. Our family would love to hear from anyone who knew Pat, especially any of the men he saved that awful day, November 26, 1968.

Pat - who we called our "Smiling Irishman", loved to race his 1964 Chevy Supersport at Norwalk and Lorain County Speedway. He was very successful with over 50 class wins and won several trophies as well. He was an ironworker like our Dad and was also attending Lorain Community College before he was called to service.

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Veteran Facts

 25 million living veterans

 48 million Americans have served since 1776

 One million died in combat or combat  related event

  January 27 1973 - Signing of Vietnam Peace Accord

 

 

Abraham Lincoln made a promise to veterans in his Second Inaugural Address in 1865, when he promised that America would "...care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan."  That promise is VA's motto.

This year, eighty-eight thousand veterans will be laid in honored rest in a National Cemetery.

Points to Ponder

We flip a light switch and the lights come on; we drive to the gas station and there is gas and we can afford it; we cross a border from one state to the next, and we show no identification card or passport; we turn on the radio or the television and can freely and immediately access hundreds of channels of broad-ranging, multi-dimensional information, commentary, and music; we can publicly disagree with our leaders; we can worship where and when the Spirit so moves us; and we can choose our friends from among a myriad of cultures, faiths, creeds, and skin colors.

We can do all these things and so much more because your grandparents, your parents, your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends in uniform made a commitment to stand up for what is right, what is decent, and what is good about America.

**Excerpts from Department of Veterans Affairs: http://www.va.gov/Veteranedu

 

I'M  GLAD  IT'S  MINE
 
I WATCHED THE FLAG UNFURL TODAY,
THE GENTLE BREEZES MADE IT SWAY,
THE STRIPES AND STARS SHONE BRIGHT AND CLEAR, AS IF TO SAY, "IT'S SAFE. I'M HERE!"
 
AND AT THAT POINT I THOUGHT AGAIN,
WHAT WOULD WE BE, WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN
IF OUR PROUD FLAG WITH ALL ITS SCARS
WAS NOT VICTORIOUS IN ALL THOSE WARS?
 
WOULD WE BE FREE, WOULD WE BE "GOOD?"
WOULD OTHER COUNTRIES DO AS THEY SHOULD?
COULD WE BE HERE THIS SUMMER DAY,
TO STAND IN AWE AT THIS DISPLAY?
 
THE FLAG ISN'T MUCH, IT'S ONLY COTTON,
BUT WHAT IT STANDS FOR IS NOT FORGOTTEN.
AND WHEN I THINK OF IT VICTORIES DIVINE,
ALL I CAN SAY IS "I'M GLAD IT'S MINE."
 
Copyright 1993, Donald E. Long

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THE  BLACK  MARBLE  WALL

 

Heres the roster of our fallen ones,

Not one of them died in vain.

Come forth and touch the dark marble.

It can absorb all your pain.

 

Here youll feel them gathered.

Assembled for a final roll call.

Come and spend a few minutes.

Fall in with them at the wall.

 

Some died in the jungles and hamlets.

Some died in the emerald Asian seas.

All of them marched off into battle,

To protect the South Vietnamese.

 

The Nam impacted many lives

In terrible and horrible ways.

If you still fight the old battles,

Then come to the wall and pray.

 

Here youll sense their presence,

Each one proudly standing tall.

Gathered together and waiting,

To greet all who visit the wall.

 

The time for guilt has come and gone.

The time to pay homage is here.

This wall can heal all the scars,

If youll but simply come near.

 

Should you muster up the courage

To visit this sacred shrine,

Listen for a few familiar voices

Calling to those left behind.

 

They beckon us to join them.

They summon us one and all.

They offer an end to the suffering.

It can come from just touching the wall.

 

When the pilgrimage is finally over,

Youll feel a new piece of mind.

Lots of those personal sorrows,

Will no longer come to mind.

 

Such is the power of this wondrous wall;

It heals all types of old wounds.

It has a special kind of magic,

To which few people are immune.

 

J.T. McBride

@1988

 

 

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"Fallen Angels"

Minds, torn with fears
on this firing night
the warm flowing tears
is a mixture of all the fright

Angels who fell
fighting for our right
some live to tell
on why we're here tonight

Risking their own hearts,
to keep ours beating,
giving us new starts,
and their stories repeating

To get wounded, you won a medal
to be killed, you lost a heart
to think this could all settle
if our friends and foes didn't part

Buried with pride
and a landmark to all
although you may have died
you didnt even fall.
Desiree Allison Orosz

Copyright 2001 Desiree Orosz

dedicated to my Uncle Pat - who I never got to meet - but still love very much

 

"The Visit"
 
I went to visit you today.
You arent very far away.
The evening was warm as the sun went down.
And signs of a soft twilight were all around. 

As I lingered to talk about the day. I mentioned our loved ones not far away.
I spoke of our love and undying devotion. 
The words spilled out, filled with emotion.
 
The expressions were pouring from my heart, from my Soul of which you are a part.
Words which I wanted you to hear. 
Words spoken to a loved one so dear. 
Then as the sunlight faded from the sky, I brushed  the teardrops from my eyes.  
 
I lit a candle  to light the night. 
And my arms ached to hold you tight.
I left a rose in a vase for you, and knelt to kiss your picture too. 
I touched your name etched on marble stone. 
 
Then walked home slowly, all alone.

JoRhetta Hyatt     15 July, 2002 
 

"A Soldiers Dream"

Great Jesus, I saw him walk
And he took me by the hand
He taught me how to talk
In this new native land
 
He told me I was a hero
And this I could not believe
 "I was just a soldier though"
"My son you must deceive"
 
I fought for my right
And to protect our human kind
And what I did was fight
To hunt, destroy, and find
 
I closed those hating eyes forever
With my own bare hands at that
I killed, if not surrender
 No sympathy for the life, which sat
 
"You fought with a true heart,
" The angels, with God, did cry
 "Its time for a new start,
As an angel, who will gracefully fly"
 
Then I saw before me
The eyes which shed these tears
I really began to see
I helped somebodys fears
 
For me, these angels wept
 And this I could not bare
 I just could not accept
A hero standing there
 
 I looked into the mirror
A fallen angel is what I could see
 Then I began to hear  
The true soldier, that stood inside of me
 
 11-2-01 Written by Desiree Allison Orosz

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Casualties don't end with the war.  People carry their loss and pain the rest of their lives.  Life is never the same.  The war is only over for those who had nothing to do with it.

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