The Oregon Vietnam Memorial Group, which has been planning a monument to honor the men and women who served in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, has announced that plans for the dedication ceremony have been finalized.
On Saturday, Oct. 18 at noon in Clay High School’s Memorial Stadium, the monument will be formally dedicated in memory of the veterans from Oregon, Harbor View and Jerusalem Township. U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.
Preceding the dedication ceremony will be a motorcycle event that appears to be drawing the interest of an estimated 500 to 1,000 riders, organizers say.
Led by the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club, the Honor Ride will pay tribute to the veterans who served in Vietnam. It will begin at the former Coy Elementary School on Pickle Road and Wheeling Street in Oregon and will cover approximately 12 miles throughout Oregon and Jerusalem Township.
With an escort from the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office Motorcycle Unit, the ride will pass by the homes of five of the eight veterans killed in the Vietnam War from the local area. Anyone who has a motorcycle is invited to participate. There is no charge.
Reminiscent of Rolling Thunder, the annual ride from California to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., the local Honor Ride locally will begin at 10 a.m. and end at Clay High School’s Memorial Stadium just before the start of the monument dedication.
“Imagine the sight of hundreds upon hundreds of motorcycle riders entering Clay High School’s parking lot in an endless column, decked out in American flags and other patriotic displays,” said Jerry Eversman, chairman for the Oregon Vietnam Memorial Group. “Then after parking their motorcycles and remaining at attention, the color guards march through the column of bikes into the stadium followed by the riders.
“I think it will be a powerful visual moment,” he said.
“This memorial is for all men and women who served during the years of 1957 to 1975,” said Jim Brower, assistant chairman for the Memorial Group. “Whether you were a Vietnam veteran or a Vietnam-era veteran, this monument is to honor everyone for their service.”
The monument will be carved from American black granite from Pennsylvania, Mr. Eversman said, adding that the committee wanted the stone to be American-mined. It was designed by Artistic Memorials, of Perrysburg, a company headed by Lake High School graduate Jeff Pettit. The memorial will be engraved with the names of eight Oregon and Jerusalem Township servicemen who died in Vietnam. They include Esiquio Cantu, Gerald Corlett, Scott Corrello, Joseph Gill, Ervin Harris, Arthur Heringhausen, Jr., John Thayer and John Vaughan. All served in the U.S. Army, except for Thayer, who was in the Air Force.
For more information, visit www.oregonvietnammemorial.com.