The names of the 10 Champaign County residents who died while serving in the Vietnam War will be memorialized in stone pavers to be placed in the “Patio of Flags” in front of the Joint Headquarters of DAV Chapter 31 and VFW Post 5451 at 220 E. Court St. in Urbana.
Bob Max, Vietnam War veteran (U.S. Army) and president of the Champaign County Veterans Service Commission, said the idea of purchasing the 10 pavers came from local resident Larry Dagger, whose brother is one of the 10 fallen servicemen.
The unveiling of the pavers will take place during a ceremony scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), at the VFW/DAV headquarters. The event is sponsored by Dagger, DAV Chapter 31, VFW Post 5451, American Legion Post 120 and AMVETS Post 121.
“We encourage all relatives and friends of these servicemen, as well as those who wish to honor the fallen, to attend,” Max said.
During the ceremony, the American Legion Honor Guard will play “Taps” and provide a 21-gun salute.
The 10 county residents who died in Vietnam were Walter L. Burroughs (U.S. Army) of North Lewisburg, Robert Thomas Reed (U.S. Army) of Mechanicsburg, William Emerson Shaffer (U.S. Army) of Cable, Michael A. Bailey (U.S. Army) of Urbana, Carl Richard Dagger (U.S. Marine Corps) of Urbana, Wetzel Lonnie Eldridge (U.S. Marine Corps) of Urbana, Philip Lee Grieser (U.S. Navy) of St. Paris, William Michael Short (U.S. Marine Corps) of St. Paris, Donald Dale Hall (U.S. Army) of Urbana, and Lester Eugene Parker (U.S. Army) of Urbana.
For more information on the paver ceremony or to purchase a memorial paver, contact Max at 937-653-3629 or Bill Gibson at 937-869-4769.
Soldiers Mound ceremony
American Legion Post 120, AMVETS Post 121, DAV Chapter 31 and VFW Post 5451 will co-host its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Wednesday at Oak Dale Cemetery in Urbana.
Max said the event will begin at 10:45 a.m. at Soldiers Mound, and the guest speaker will be Urbana resident and U.S. Army Reserve veteran Vincent L. Foulk.
The American Legion Honor Guard will provide a 21-gun salute, and the Urbana High School Marching Band will perform the national anthem and other patriotic songs.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.