By Jonathan Williams
Times West Virginian
The West Virginia State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America brought its mobile wall displaying the names of 732 West Virginia servicemen from the Vietnam War to be dedicated Saturday morning in Veterans’ Square.
Fairmont mayor and Vietnam veteran Ron Straight welcomed the council to the city.
“I extend our appreciation for choosing Fairmont to represent the northern part of West Virginia to dedicate the mobile wall that honors servicemen from our state that were POWs, MIAs and KIAs,” he said. “As the wall travels across our state, I hope it will not only serve as a remembrance, but as an educational tool for the young and the old alike.”
Cecilio Bezares II, Vietnam veteran and committee chairman, said the wall was initially planned as a project that would take between five and 10 years. Instead, thanks to support from all over the state, it was finished in two years.
“There are so many people to thank,” he said. “This community has been an outstanding community. ... I can’t mention everybody, there are so many people involved.”
The wall was put together by J.D. Signs in Pleasant Valley and an informational book was printed by Presort Plus, both Marion County businesses.
Marion County Commission president Randy Elliott said it was “an honor and a pleasure” to officially dedicate the memorial in Marion County.