Memorial to honor Michigan Vietnam vets begins construction

Posted at 4:14 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 17:50:52-05

BELDING, Mich. - After months of back-and-forth with city officials, a Vietnam veteran is finally getting a chance to start construction on a wall honoring his fallen brothers.

Workers laid the foundation Tuesday for what will be a unique remembrances for the more than 2,000 local troops that lost their lives in the Vietnam conflict.

Denny Craycraft is the architect behind the monument. He says it pulls inspiration from several existing Vietnam memorials and with some additional input from local vets, the wall will have a Michigan twist.

"It's going to be a monument like no other monument in the state of Michigan," said Craycraft.  "You would not believe the phone calls, the letters, thanking us - our committee - for what we're doing out here for the veterans."

Denny says the process to getting the memorial started hasn't been easy. He fought red tape for about a year before getting approval to lay the foundation.

The wall will have the names of 2,654 fallen soldiers from Michigan etched into it.  In front will be twelve pillars representing the twelve soldiers from the Belding and Greenville area.

Overall, the wall will cost $165,000.  Most of that money is coming from local donations.

"You can't keep good people down," Craycraft added, "and for us to build this park in this town and to have so much out pour from businesses and people around here, it's amazing."

Denny hopes the memorial will be built and ready to open within two years.  The reason for the long wait is because they are waiting for granite to ship from India.

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