years ago, a sculptor who was a Vietnam veteran began working on a monument
for the community. John Reno died before he could complete the project,
and the three-ton piece of marble, the basis for his work, disappeared.
“I had some spare time one day,” John Bergeron, past president
of VVA Chapter 1, remembers. “I played detective for a few hours
and went knocking on doors and asking questions. Pretty soon I located
the marble in a gravel pit in Fairhaven. It was off to one side and had
been protected by the pit operator.” The gravel pit operator agreed
to load the marble on his flatbed and transport it to West Rutland where
a sculptor had volunteered to complete the project. Rutland’s nearly
700-square-foot memorial plaza contains benches and landscaping, with
the marble sculpture as its centerpiece.
The effort to locate the names of the men and women was daunting, but
with the assistance of the local newspaper and television, as well as
word of mouth, it was quite successful. “I had wives come into my
shop with their husbands’ DD-214’s,” recalled Bergeron.
“They said their husbands wouldn’t do it, but they felt it
was important for them to be recognized for their service.”
The city donated the land, contractors donated their time and materials,
and VVA Chapter 1 raised nearly $15,000 toward the cost.
The Memorial has the following signs located around it. Click on any thumbnail
to view the sign in detail.
below are a number of pictures from the construction and dedication of
the monument. Move your mouse over the picture to see the caption.
Design by Ready Page Graphic Design