MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP >> Surviving Vietnam vets will be front and center to honor fallen and missing comrades when the dedication of the Lower Bucks County Vietnam Veterans Memorial takes place on Sunday, September 26 beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Veterans Park in Middletown Township.
Bucks County author Jim McComb and four other veterans of the Vietnam War – Langhorne’s John Rumsey and Fran Drummond, Bristol’s George Delia and Falls’ Ed Sabol – will narrate the stories of some of the 95 Lower Bucks County servicemen who never returned home from Vietnam.
McComb served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam and authored “More Than Names On A Wall,” about the 136 servicemen from Bucks County who died in, or remain missing in action because of, the conflict.
Former U.S. Representative Patrick Murphy, a veteran of the Iraq War, and current U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick also will participate in the individual tributes.
In addition to the individual stories, the event also will include remarks from Abbe Godwin, sculptor of the statue that will be a focal point of the monument; a helicopter flyover; and other tributes. It will culminate in a roll call of Vietnam veterans in attendance and those whose names are inscribed on the memorial, as well as postwar casualties of Agent Orange.
Three years in the making, the memorial will include 95 names of servicemen from Lower Bucks County, including 94 killed in action and one missing in action. The memorial sculpture is being created by Abbe Godwin, a highly regarded creator of works memorializing members of the armed services, whose works include the Corpsman Memorial and the Peacekeeper statue at the Beirut Memorial, both at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC, and the North Carolina Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the state capitol in Raleigh.
The memorial will honor sons of Bensalem Township, Bristol Borough, Bristol Township, Falls Township, Hulmeville Borough, Langhorne Borough, Langhorne Manor Borough, Lower Makefield Township, Lower Southampton Township, Middletown Township, Morrisville Borough, Newtown Borough, Newtown Township, Northampton Township, Penndel Borough, Upper Makefield Township, Upper Southampton Township, and Wrightstown Township.
The anticipated $250,000 cost of the memorial is being funded by state and local grants, and through various fund-raising efforts. Donations can be made at www.lbcvvm.org.
The memorial has been created by the PA Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, a grass-roots organization that includes many members of the team that brought the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to the area in 2017. The Wall in Bucks County drew upwards of 25,000 people during its July 14-16 run in Penndel. The event also raised more than $31,000 in money and goods that was donated to local and national veterans causes. The PA Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation is chaired by Ed Preston, who also chaired The Wall in Bucks County and chair the Penndel-Hulmeville Memorial Day Parade.
About the Pennsylvania Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation
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.