WILKES-BARRE — It was on this day in 1988 that a statue was dedicated on the lawn of the Luzerne County Courthouse.
Thursday marked the 25th anniversary of the Luzerne County Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Twenty-five years after its dedication, the Luzerne County Vietnam Veterans Memorial still stands tall at the courthouse in Wilkes-Barre.
“We wanted to prove to our brothers that we lost over there that we remember them and we’ll never forget them. Never,” said Vietnam Veteran Neno Sartini.
Neno Sartini of Wilkes-Barre is an air force veteran, who served in Vietnam. He also served on the committee that worked to get the memorial built. It was dedicated on February 21, 1988 in an emotional ceremony.
“I am proud to be a Vietnam veteran. I am proud that i served my country, and I did the right thing for America and for what America stands for,” said Sartini.
The memorial includes the names of six POWW’s and 83 Vietnam veterans all from Luzerne County. One name holds special meaning for Navy vet Ed Linskey of Harding.
“Billy, we grew up together. We were on the same swim team together and everything else, right from the same neighborhood,” said Vietnam veteran Ed Linskey.
Linskey said Billy Kause’s death during the war was hard because Linsky wasn’t allowed to escort Billy’s body home.
“It took me I think 15 or 20 years by the time after I got home, just to go to his grave,” said Linskey.
Veterans we spoke with said the memorial helps to make up for the poor treatment they say they received when they returned home from war.
“Please don’t treat the new veterans the way we were treated when we first came home. It still hurts,” said Vietnam veteran John Richards.
“We were treated very bad, very bad. We were not recognized, and now this pays up for it,” said Sartini.
There will be a special 25th anniversary ceremony for the memorial this Saturday at 1 p.m. on the lawn of the Luzerne County Courthouse here in Wilkes-Barre.