RUTLAND— Chapter 1, Vietnam Veterans of America, will rededicate the Rutland County Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Main Street Park in Rutland Saturday, Nov. 11, at 10 a.m.
A brief ceremony will feature a new marble sculpture of a Vietnam soldier, the addition of 13 names to the Honor Roll of those men and women from Rutland County who served in the Vietnam War, and remarks by Rutland Mayor David Allaire.
The memorial was first dedicated on Memorial Day 2000, following several years of fund raising, planning and construction. The original sculpture, begun by John Reno and completed by Don Ramey, formed the centerpiece of the circular memorial, which includes plantings, explanatory placards, a concrete walkway around the sculpture, benches, a flagpole, a granite marker honoring all veterans, and an identifying sign.
The new sculpture was just completed by Ramey, who spent 170 hours removing marble from a 5,000-pound block of Danby Imperial marble to reveal the new figure of the soldier. Despite its sentimental and historical value, the old carving had been showing signs of its age and exposure to the weather. John Reno had begun the sculpture using what essentially was a cast-off block of marble. The new sculpture should last indefinitely.
Because there is no single, all-inclusive list of Vietnam Veterans from Rutland County, Chapter 1 has added names as veterans and their families have come forward to request inclusion on the Honor Roll. Starting with about 125 names, the list now stands at 343. The last day to turn in one’s service record for inclusion on the Honor Roll was Oct. 31. A person must have entered the service from Rutland County and have received the Vietnam Service Medal or show other proof of Vietnam service to qualify.