Vietnam Veterans Unveil Memorial in Stroudsburg

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STROUDSBURG  -- A memorial to honor fallen service members from Monroe County was unveiled Wednesday on Courthouse Square in Stroudsburg.

Etched in stone are the names of 10 men who never made it home from the Vietnam War.

Members of the Pocono chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America unveiled the memorial in front of hundreds of people in Stroudsburg.

Among the crowd were family and friends of some of the servicemen whose names will forever be carved in stone.

On 900 pound squares of stone, the names of 10 servicemen from Monroe County are forever engraved. These soldiers never made it home from the Vietnam War.

One name on the list, Sgt. Charles Vitanza, stands out to Ida Neyhart from Cresco.  Sgt. Vitanza was her late husband.

"Well, I think they deserve it. It's nice," said Neyhart.

Sgt. Vitanza's daughter, Patty Smith from Tannersville, was also at the ceremony. She was only 10 months old when her father died serving his country. Smith is pleased to see her father being recognized for his service.

"This is nice," said Smith. "Now we can come down here and it's important that kids know because they were so disrespected when they came home. So this is good that they are getting the acknowledgment they deserve."

Members of Pocono Chapter 678 of Vietnam Veterans of America are the servicemen and servicewomen who worked to get the memorial in place.

The organization raised $10,000 to make the memorial a reality.

For the organization, this was a two-year project but for those who have loved ones names etched into the stone, it's a memorial they have been waiting more than 50 years for."

"This is remembering our brothers that have lost their lives and gave that ultimate sacrifice," said Glen Lippincott, Vietnam Veterans of America.

Chapter member John Defazio says having the memorial in Courthouse Square gives those who lost their lives a place to feel complete.

"This location is the heart of the county. It's a place where they can be seen every day. Veterans can come here, pause for reflection, honor them and they will not be forgotten," Defazio said.

The Indian black granite that formed the memorial is the exact same stone that was used for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey officially announced that March 29 would be recognized as National Vietnam War Veterans Day, so this was a timely ceremony for those men and women in the Poconos.

1 Comment

  • RicU.

    Hurray for the PRIVATE CITIZENS of Stroudsburg for remembering the VETS. For certain, the elected officials have not been.They seem to enjoy moaning the fact their candidate LOST the last election than doing something positive for the VETS or the homeless or others. If y they wanted to do other than lip service for VETS and homeless and others they could. One case of TB or pneumonia is contagious and expensive and down right unhealthy.

    Stop the hackneyed phrases and empty platitudes and do something POSITIVE , for a change. /this goes for NEWS organization which promote it with their camera teams.

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