BY BRUCE W. WHITAKER, REGION 3 DIRECTOR
Region 3 is pleased to welcome everyone to South Carolina
for the 2008 VVA Leadership Conference and 30th VVA Anniversary
celebration in Greenville. While you’re here, be
sure to visit the Greenville County Vietnam Veterans Memorial
in Cleveland Park.
After the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial in Washington, a Greenville Memorial Committee
was established in 1984 consisting of Ron Norris, David
Murray, Jim Land, and Connie Bailey. They worked with the
South Carolina Vietnam Era Veterans Association and its
president, Mike Davis.
two years, weekly meetings were held at the home of David
and Peggy Murray. A competition was held for the memorial’s
design. Eddie Worthy, a double amputee Vietnam veteran, submitted
the winning entry. The committee estimated the cost at $90,000.
Greenville City Council donated the land in Cleveland Park.
Cely Construction Company did most of plans and site preparation
at a greatly reduced rate. Then the committee began fundraising
in earnest. Efforts included yard sales, donation jars, displays
at local malls, and 5K and 10K runs. A local artist created
a print of the proposed memorial, which was used as a fundraiser.
In all, some $66,000 was raised in two years.
During this period, other features were
added to the memorial: a Gold Star Mothers recognition panel,
a map of Vietnam, emblems of all branches of the military,
a legacy statement, and poems were written by local school
was held during the Fourth of July week of 1987. The memorial
was dedicated on November 7, 1987. VVA Chapter 523 washes
the memorial and provides regular upkeep.
Greenville Zoo is on the hill above the memorial site.
it’s hard to get through a solemn occasion
without the monkeys going crazy. The land was donated; sometimes
you can’t be too choosy.
Nancy Nix provided the history
of the memorial.