New Vietnam War Memorial Opens

VIDOR - By Justin Hinton, KFDM NewsA Vietnam War memorial two years in the making is officially open. Vietnam War veteran Jerry Gatch held the dedication ceremony for the memorial Saturday afternoon.Family members, friends and veterans came together to honor 28 men from Orange County killed in the war. U.S. Army Specialist James Clifton Guillory became the first man from Orange County killed in Vietnam on Christmas Day of 1965. His brother, U.S. Army Sergeant Major Thomas P. Guillory served a tour in Vietnam with his brother and provided the keynote address. He says his brother was killed about 2 miles away from where he was located. Three of Specialist Guillory's children attended the ceremony. He went away before I was born. Actually, I was born on the 28th of May. Actually, I never got to meet him, so it's a privilege and an honor to be here, said Specialist Guillory's daughter, Richetta Guillory-Blanchard. The memorial is the first of its kind in Orange County. It features individual laser engraved granite plaques of the 28 men from Orange County who died. Local artist, Tom Windham painted a Vietnam War scene mural. Both the extinct Republic of South Vietnam and American flags fly at the memorial. Gatch says it's done the same way as military installations in South Vietnam during the war.

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