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History Corner By Pat Ross & Fran Snead


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January 05, 2022

“We Recognize and Thank All Vietnam Era Veterans For Their Service”.  These words are at the top of the Vietnam wall located on the grounds of the Bassett Historical Center.  This wall was the attempt of the Martinsville-Henry County Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Memorial Committee along with the Bassett Historical Center to honor the soldiers as well as all soldiers who served and are serving in the military.  This monument honors those men who fought in Vietnam, those who came home and those who were killed in action.  Included on the wall are a total of 345 names all with ties to Martinsville and Henry County that served in Vietnam and were awarded the Vietnam Service Medal.  Twenty-six of the names listed on the monument were killed in action.

The names included on this monument were submitted by family members or by the Veterans themselves and the Veteran’s DD214 (or discharge papers) submitted to the Bassett Historical Center was a requirement.  After collecting names and information over the course of an entire year, the monument was dedicated on Veteran’s Day 2018.

This project was a wonderful community effort for the Bassett Historical Center and Veterans’ organizations that came together to have this memorial built with an abundance of community help.  Currently we are taking on a project to change the look and safety in front of the Vietnam monument.  We have a temporary barrier in front of the monument that does not serve as much protection as needed so we are working on plans to install a more permanent protection.  Our hope is that this will also serve as a type of memorial square to highlight the monument.

It is our understanding that several Veterans and families with Martinsville-Henry County ties missed the opportunity and deadline to be a part of the wall several years ago.  Along with the new hardscape/landscape plans, we would like to incorporate a Vietnam memorial bench to include the names of soldiers who served in Vietnam to be placed next to the wall itself.  If you know of someone with Martinsville-Henry County ties that served in Vietnam whose name is not included on the wall and would like to be included on the Vietnam memorial bench, please contact the Bassett Historical Center  at (276)629-9191 for further information.

To us, these are not just a collection of names on a wall, but a tribute to those who gave so much and, in some cases, were not appreciated for what they went through for us and for our country.  “All Gave Some – Some Gave All”.