On a trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, when he was in eighth grade, Neil W., a Scout from the Boy Scouts of America Lewis and Clark Council, was struck by the awe-inspiring memorial and the sacrifice of those who gave their lives during the Vietnam War.
He wondered how many people from his hometown were included on that memorial, and an idea was born for how he might someday help to bring awareness to those Vietnam veterans from his hometown.
Later, when he began looking for an appropriate Eagle Scout project, Neil thought back to those impactful moments at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and he knew he had an opportunity to create a similar memorial to help recognize the Vietnam veterans from his own community.
He began the process of researching, fundraising, and working with local organizations to get all of the necessary approvals and materials to construct a Vietnam veterans memorial in his town.
It took nearly two years, and countless hours of work, but the finished Vietnam veterans memorial contains the names of 15 men from his hometown, etched in black granite and presented in way that is very similar to the memorial in Washington, DC.
“It turned out to be a bigger project than I had thought,” Neil said. “It took a lot of patience and persistence.”
To learn more about Neil’s project, be sure to read the full article in the Belleville News-Democrat.