BELDING, Mich. – It’s a project that Denny Craycraft has spent almost ten years working on, and this Memorial Day Monday, it was unveiled in its entirety for the very first time.
The Belding Veteran’s Park now has a memorial to every major U.S. conflict, capped off this Monday by the completion of the Vietnam Veterans Wall. On it are etched the names of the 2,654 Michigan soldiers and sailors who lost their lives in the war.
“When I started working on this wall I was looking for closure,” said Craycraft, “There’s no closure. But there’s satisfaction. And in the process of doing this, no one will be forgotten.”
Craycraft and his committee faced hurdle after hurdle to get clearance and funding for the wall, and this Memorial Day they finally pulled back the curtain on the replica of the national Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.
“I was very fortunate to come back, whereas these guys weren’t. and so…it’s been my medicine. To keep my feet on the ground.”
The pathway to the memorial, which also has laser engravings of war scenes and images associated with the conflict on the front and back, is lined with pillars representing Belding and Greenville vets who lost their lives in Vietnam.