5th Marines Vietnam Memorial
It took over four years from conception to reality to erect a monument to honor the Marines and Sailors who lost their lives while serving in the Viet Nam War, as a member of the Fighting Fifth Marines. On Memorial Day 2018, our goal became a reality.
The team faced four major challenges, including confirming the identification of every one of our combat KIA’s; designing the monument; obtaining final acknowledgment and approval from the Secretary of the Navy, and the job of raising the necessary funds to complete the project. Thanks to the Coffelt Database of Vietnam Casualties, all those KIA while serving with the 5th Regiment in the Viet Nam war were identified and their information confirmed. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers and the wonderful memorial designers at Rock of Ages Granite Quarry, this monument stands in the 5th Marine Memorial Park today with 2706 names, rank and KIA dates forever etched into the majestic black granite panels. Thanks to the entire chain of command, the approval process was successful. The last and final challenge was to raise the $450,000 to fund the project.
It became a heart-warming experience as many individuals and organizations stepped up to help us with advice and elbow grease. We received monetary contributions of all sizes nearly four hundred individuals, corporations and non-profit organizations.
We reflect on the valor and sacrifices made by those 2,706 Marines and Sailors, as well as the over 14,000 Marines and Sailors from other units who died in Viet Nam. These Marines and Sailors whose names are on these granite panels, raised their hands, answered the call of duty, put on a pack, traveled 10,000 miles to a distant country, pushed through rice paddies, heat, and monsoon, fought honorably and heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Marines and Americans. They gave all they had and all they would ever have.
We will always remember these brave men. Bringing them home to the 5th Marine Regiment demonstrates our recognition of their courage and extraordinary valor in service to their country. We thank their families and loved ones for their sacrifice.
For the Marines and Sailors of today who take the fight to our enemies: this is your legacy.
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