Location & Additional Information:
Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Pvvm.org (Offical Website)
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (267) 973-0600
Background Information (The Vietnam War):
The Vietnam War also called The American War, or The Second Indochina War between the Northern Vietnamese and Southern Vietnamese governments took place from 1945-1975. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union and China, While the South Vietnamese army was supported by The United States, Thailand, South Korea and many other anti-communist allies. The war was a result of a larger conflict known as The Cold War. Vietnam was the longest war in American history and most embarrassing for the United States. It resulted in a failure to protect South Vietnam from totalitarian government and the war resulted in over 60,000 American deaths (over 300,000 injuries) including an estimated 2 million Vietnamese deaths. In 1973 congress created The War powers, a direct consequence of Vietnam, which required the President to get congressional approval before sending American forces overseas.
The Vietnam war had a great impact on the Philadelphia Region. From the many volunteers and men who were drafted, the war created an economic challenge within the city. Other complications included debilitating effects of exposure to the toxin “Agent Orange”. Most of the complications post war came by way of homelessness, drug abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. By the end of the war over 3,100 Pennsylvanians had been killed, 20 percent were from the Philadelphia region. Edison High School lost sixty-six alumni alone. “The Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Penn’s Landing became the largest tribute to Philadelphia’s war dead, with about 650 names etched on the Wall of Names.”3
The Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial is administered by the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The Board of Directors include: Terry Williamson (President), Dennis Best (Vice President), Michael L. Daily III (Executive Director), John Scott McAllister (Secretary), to include other board members, most of which are Vietnam Veterans.
Located on Spruce and Columbus Blvd at Penn's Landing, The Philadelphia Vietnam Memorial was built and established in 1987 and was designed by Perry M. Morgan a local public artist. The Philadelphia Vietnam Memorial is Part of Memorial Park in Society Hill which is home to other memorials most notably The Korean War Memorial. The Philadelphia Vietnam Memorial stands as a symbol of recognition for the nearly 700 service members from the Philadelphia area who sacrificed their lives in the Vietnam War. Set as an amphitheater/semi-circle it is polished in charcoal grey granite with each name engraved along the southern wall. Also, there is a seperate POW (Prisoners of War)/MIA (Missing in Action) memorial that includes a monument that has 19 service member names inscribed into. Designed by Doug Seiler of Seiler-Drury Architects of Norristown, the monument is upfront with a flag pole raising the POW flag. After a seven-year restoration project the memorial was rededicated in 2015 and redesigned to make it more accessible for those who are disabled. In 2016 two additional service members names were added to the wall, Master Sgt. Francis G. Corcoran and Master Sgt. George L. Wilson.
1. “The Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial is designed to honor those who served in all branches of the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. The memorial pays tribute to the 80,000 Philadelphia Vietnam Era Veterans who served our country in our nation's longest war. By honoring these veterans, the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial separates the warrior from the war, focuses on the valor and sacrifice of those patriots, and gives each of them a place in history. It is our duty to remember the gallant Americans whose names grace this wall. They sacrificed their lives in the service of our country during the Vietnam War 1964-1975. For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.”
2. “It is our duty to remember…The gallant Americans whose names grace this memorial wall sacrificed their lives in the service of our country during the Vietnam War 1964-1975”
3. “For Those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know”
Events & More:
The Philadelphia Vietnam Memorial host events all year round including Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies. There are also presentations that are held at the site. The education outreach program is offered to area schools and explains the history, relevance and meaning of the memorial.
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