Terry Williamson, President of the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, marketing and public relations consultant, author, ‘Rocks and Fists: The Decimation of The 141st NVA Regiment,’ and decorated Infantryman, along with Ralph Galati, a St. Joe’s graduate and former Director of Veteran’s Services, and former Air Force prisoner of the ‘Hanoi Hilton,’ repatriated 45 years ago this month, and Tom Roberts, another Air Force vet and member of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Society, discussed the memorial, dedicated in 1987 to honor the 648 Philadelphians who were lost in the war. Located at Spruce and Columbus Blvd at Penn’s Landing, the Memorial is an amphitheater with walls of polished, charcoal grey granite bearing the 648 names. There is also a statue dedicated to Cpl Michael Crescenz, the only Philadelphian to receive the Medal of Honor in Vietnam, as well as a memorial to the joint sacrifice of the South Vietnamese and American military, the South Vietnamese Freedom and Heritage Monument. A virtual tour of the memorial and a name search can be found at their website, here.
Today they spoke on the drive to add another piece, a POW-MIA Monument, recognizing the US 1,600 still missing in action, including ten from Philadelphia. Their goal is just $85,000 with a projected groundbreaking by September 18, the National POW/MIA Recognition Day. The campaign has been sanctioned by the National POW-MIA League of Families. As Ralph put it, it’s a way for the public to recognize not just that there are 1,600 still missing in action, but also that there are 1,600 families still trying to resolve their loss.
To help support the effort with monetary or in-kind donations, visit their website PVVM.org and click on the donate page and click on the donate page, or contributions can be sent to the Memorial at PO Box 29425, Philadelphia, PA 19125. They can also be found at Go Fund Me HERE.