November 25, 2014

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Vietnam memorial to be dedicated today

AMHERST — For years, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee has been trying to raise money to honor the
98 Lorain County residents who died in the Vietnam War.
Today, the memorial its members worked so hard to build will be unveiled in Amherst.
“It will be a day of honor and respect,” said Joyce Young, the committee member who headed up research on the local soldiers who died in Southeast Asia.
Young’s former husband served in the war, and she lost two of her high school classmates in the war. While a student at Cedarville University, she was a member of a group of students who prayed not only for peace, but also for
the soldiers.
The soldiers who did return home weren’t always welcomed back warmly, she said. They often faced insults and disrespect from many who opposed the unpopular war. Things have changed, she said.
“We are thrilled because it’s the lack of respect back then versus the understanding today,” Young said.
Richard Corbin, a former committee member from Lorain and a Vietnam veteran himself, said he’s glad to see that the soldiers who died so far from their families are finally being honored locally. It means a lot, he said, to their families, their friends and the soldiers who survived to come home.
“All these guys will be etched in stone, not just on a piece of paper,” he said.
Kenny Layport, the president of the committee and also a Vietnam veteran, said it was hard work raising money for the memorial, which features a granite block with the names of the fallen carved into it.
The memorial will be dedicated in a ceremony today at 11 a.m.
Organizers say the dedication could draw up to 2,000 people.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.