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Memorial


Several 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.

VVA Chapter 1 - First In The Nation
How This Memorial Came To Be
   
The Longest War In US History

Shown below are a number of pictures from the construction and dedication of the monument. Move your mouse over the picture to see the caption.

Main Street Park before installation of Rutland County Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Excavation for the Rutland County Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Spring 2000
Prepartion for concrete pouring at Rutland County Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Spring 2000
Setting the centerpiece sculpture of Rutland County Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Spring 2000
Left to right: Ernie Smalley, contractor; John Bergeron, then President of Chapter 1 and Don Ramey, sculptor; during contruction of monument. Spring 2000
Valerie Cleary of Rutland Garden Club works on plantings at memorial
Dedication ceremony at Rutland County Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Memorial Day, May 29, 2000
Color gaurd at memorial dedication, May 29, 2000
Unveiling sculpture at dedication of memorial, May 29, 2000
Dedicated to the men and women from Rutland County who served in the Vietnam War 1959 - 1975 and to all veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1, Rutland Vermont with thanks to our many supporters May 29, 2000

 

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