Vietnam Veterans remembered by new monument

Posted at 6:20 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 18:20:55-04

BELDING, Mich. -- A new monument will be going up at Belding Veteran's Park tomorrow to honor those who lost their lives while serving in Vietnam.

The granite replica of the bronze monument in Washington D.C. is part of a larger Vietnam Memorial that's still under construction.

The granite replica of three Vietnam soldiers will be put in place at Veteran's Park tomorrow, and dedicated on Memorial Day weekend.

"We have a 5K run/walk fundraiser that morning, and then we have the services between the VFW and the American Legion at 11," said Dennis Craycraft, a chairman of the Vietnam Freedom Wall Committe. "And then after that we're going to dedicate phase two of the Vietnam wall."

The entire memorial is a three phase project. The first phase involved getting permission from the city of Belding to secure the land needed for the monuments.

The granite monument with the three soldiers is part of phase two. In phase three, an outline of a map of Vietnam will be placed at the park. Beneath the map will be the names of all 2, 654 Michigan soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

"We never forget them, and it's a tribute and it's going to be a lot of comfort to a lot of Vietnam veterans to see how they've been respected as a Vietnam veteran," says Craycraft, who is himself a Vietnam Air Force Veteran.

The entire cost of the project comes to around $165,000. The Freedom Wall Committee says they still need to raise about $100,000 to complete it. If you'd like to donate, you can visit the Belding Veteran's Park website.