PENNDEL >> The Pennsylvania Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, a successor to the group that two years ago brought the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to Penndel Borough, has announced that it is planning a permanent memorial that will honor men from Lower Bucks County communities who served in the Vietnam War.
The Foundation is dedicated to raising funds for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which will honor the fallen from Bensalem, Bristol Borough, Bristol Township, Falls Township, Hulmeville Borough, Langhorne Borough, Langhorne Manor Borough, Lower Makefield, Lower Southampton, Middletown Township, Morrisville Borough, Newtown Borough, Newtown Township, Northampton Township, Penndel Borough, Upper Makefield, Upper Southampton and Wrightstown Township.
The memorial is expected to be erected in the spring of 2021 at Middletown Veterans’ Memorial Park on Veterans Highway in Middletown Township. It is expected to include 96 names of servicemen from Lower Bucks County, including 95 killed in action and one missing in action.
Current plans also call for the memorial to display renderings of the insignias of the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as the Vietnam War service ribbon.
The anticipated $250,000 cost of the memorial will be funded by state and local grants, and through various fund-raising efforts. Donations can be made at www.lbcvvm.org.
“The lack of memorials that suitably honor those from our area – and from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at large – who served in Vietnam is glaring and unfortunate,” said Ed Preston, chairman of the PA Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation. “Our intention is to harness the same civic-mindedness and respect for our veterans that drove the success of the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall’s visit to recognize at the local and state levels those who gave of themselves for our country during the Vietnam War.”
“Speaking with all the Middletown Township Board members, we are honored that the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is being erected in our Veterans Park,” said George Leonhauser, vice chair of the Middletown Township Board of Supervisors. “Many of us have had family and friends who have served in the military. I personally have friends who served in Vietnam and I can't think of a better way to honor those who gave their lives and those who returned. We’re confident that both residents in our area and our veterans will embrace this memorial.”
The PA Vietnam Veterans Foundation includes two veterans of the Vietnam War, Fran Drummond of Langhorne Manor Borough and John Rumsey of Langhorne Borough. In addition to Preston, it includes seven members of The Wall in Bucks County, the grassroots organization that brought the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to the area, as well as other civic-minded residents and members of the business community.
Upwards of 25,000 people visited the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall during its July 14-16 run in Penndel in 2017.
Following the conclusion of the Penndel-Hulmeville Memorial Day Parade last year, a time capsule commemorating the event was buried at the intersection of Hulmeville Avenue and PFC John Dalola Avenue in Penndel. The time capsule contains tributes left behind at the event, including: pictures, a uniform, notes, a Purple Heart, infantry insignia, obituaries, a baby’s pacifier, flowers, flags and MIA bracelets and is to be opened on April 15, 2075, the 100th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. The event also raised more than $31,000 in money and goods that was donated to local and national veterans causes.
The Pennsylvania Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation is 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to preserving the legacy and memory of those from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as from Lower Bucks County, who served in Vietnam War, including those who were killed or are missing in action and those who returned only to suffer the effects of the war for the remainder of their lives. More information is available at www.lbcvvm.org.