Veterans Seeking To Enhance, Repair Vietnam Memorial - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/23/05

Veterans Seeking To Enhance, Repair Vietnam Memorial

In a little more than a week, people across the nation will be observing the sacrifices of our military men and women on Memorial Day.

This special holiday will also mark the 8th anniversary of a state memorial that keeps the memory of the fallen alive--the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Ocean Springs. The memorial has been open to the public for years, but there's still work to be done.

For Larry Lucas each empty space on this wall of heroes is a void that must be filled. Lucas and other Vietnam veterans share a mission--to see the faces of every Mississippian killed in the Vietnam war--all 667 of them.

"We still need to locate 90 pictures. Just the cost of helping to locate the friends and family is a lot, and then the cost of each picture to be replaced is a pretty good chunk of change," Lucas said.

It costs $300 to mount each picture. But Lucas says you can't put a price on how much it means to the veterans families and friends to see their loved one's face alongside their fallen comrads.

"It lets them realize that there are people here still who care about the sacrifice that their loved ones made, and the sacrifice that they made, so it's recognition of those two things," Lucas said.

Money is also needed for maintenance and repairs to the Memorial. Efforts are also underway for enhancements and to add on to this monument.

"Lighting for the walkway, lighting for the flags," Lucas said. "We need a place where we can put a visitors' register. A few moments ago you saw some people from Indiana here. We'd like have those people be able to sign a register, to let us knows who all does come and visit this memorial."

Visitors from all over come to see these faces--the faces of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Here, their memories will forever be kept alive in South Mississippi.

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