GRANITE CITY, Ill. (KMOX) – A traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial is in Granite City through Monday night.
An organizer of the local display, Mark Jeffries, lost a cousin in the war— Ronnie Dean Davis, “The wall’s always been special to me. It’s been close to my heart for a long time. I never knew my cousin, but I remember my aunt’s tears and how it hurt her even years later when I was able to understand.”
Granite City Mayor Ed Hagnauer says a high school friend was among the 40 people his town lost in the war, “He was a ‘Fonzie’ type guy. Everybody liked him. Women loved him. He was a couple of years older. When he went to war we all expected him to come back. When he didn’t, it tore our guts out.”
Former Illinois Veterans Affairs director and Vietnam veteran Roy Dolgas attended today’s (Friday’s) opening ceremony, “I feel that we did a lot for this country besides fighting. We changed the attitude of the people in America.”
Dolgas said he and his fellow Vietnam War veterans have accomplished a lot in getting today’s veterans more respect among the American people that they got when they returned.
The location of the display is the Granite City Nursing & Rehab Center at 3500 Century Drive. That’s off Route 3 and West Pontoon Road. It’s open 24 hours a day.
A closing ceremony will be held at seven, Monday night.
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