Vietnam Veterans Honored With Soldier’s Cross

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NORTH MANHEIM TOWNSHIP -- A fallen soldier's cross was unveiled at the Schuylkill County Vietnam Memorial just outside Schuylkill Haven.

Even with rain falling, people made their way out to honor those who lost their lives in Vietnam.

“People leave and make the commitment. They are writing a blank check and when you join the service, you are writing a blank check. You go away from your family and fight for what you think is right so we can live the way we want to live in the United States,” said veteran Bill Higgins, Vietnam War Post 29.

The memorial, which sits next to the First United Church of Christ, was dedicated 20 years ago. Now, bronze boots, a weapon, and a helmet sit on a pedestal.

“It’s an honor to be here. These guys deserve the credit they didn't get when they came home. That's why we are here honoring our veterans,” said Kenneth Albitz of Schuylkill Haven.

Retired US Army General George Alfred Joulwan from Pottsville spoke about the importance of honoring the sacrifices made by the men and women in uniform. He finished his military career as NATO supreme allied commander, but what really stands out to him is the unwavering support at home.

“It’s reassuring Schuylkill County was where I was born, where I was raised, so it is very special to see the love of country that's here and the respect of soldiers,” said Joulwan.

Carol Rash of Fogelsville is a Gold Star mother who lost her son in Iraq. Her husband served in Vietnam. Rash was glad the dreary weather didn't keep people away from honoring those who fought in Vietnam.

“This was just wonderful to see all the people here and the memorial that we will have for years to come,” said Rash.

There is another ceremony scheduled for Memorial Day at the Schuylkill County Memorial.