CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A tribute to fallen heroes — the 5th Marine Regiment Vietnam memorial wall — was unveiled Monday at Camp Pendleton.
Vietnam veterans have been waiting for the memorial for 50 years. The class of ’67 was one that fought with distinction but also suffered the devastation of some of the toughest fighting the war in Vietnam would ever see.
The cold granite walls represent 2,706 Marines and sailors and their once-2nd Lt. Steve Colwell oversaw the yearslong process of raising the money and designing the memorial.
“In the 60s, they raised their hand and they answered the call of duty when 16 million of their peers stepped sideways or backwards,” Colwell said. “They put on a pack and went 10,000 miles away from home. They fought in rice paddies and jungles and monsoons and terrible conditions and they gave all they had and all they would ever have.”
Jimmie Edwards III says the dates etched into the memorials are scarred into the minds of all the members of the 5th Marine Regiment.
“On August 19, 1969, all those names are the men I was with that were killed when I was wounded,” Edwards said.
Members of the Fighting 5th say finally all the brothers that have been scattered in cemeteries across the nation are now brought together one last time.