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Community gathers for dedication of Montgomery County's new Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Community gathers for dedication of Montgomery County's new Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Jay Korff/ABC7)

A generation of men and women, touched by the fire of the Vietnam War, gathered Monday in Rockville for the ceremony dedicating and unveiling Montgomery County’s new Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“We welcome you to this solemn and long overdue ceremony," Michael Subin said. "We do this now because for many of us this will be the chance we will have to let them know that for as long as we live they will live in our hearts and minds."

The wall of 130 names honors those from the county who died or are missing in action.

“They were brought out for a night raid and they were ambushed," Judy Holt said.

For Holt and so many others here, the grief of losing a loved one in service to country can never be tempered. But this memorial insures her brother, Marine Private First Class William Bissell, will never be forgotten. Bissell died in battle 50 years ago Tuesday.

“Every time they are recognized it brings you more peace because you never got that chance to say goodbye," Holt said.

“It is said that as long as someone speaks your name you are never truly never gone. So these guys will live forever on this wall," Vietnam War veteran Mike Walsh said.

Walsh survived the war. Three of his childhood friends, whose names are etched on the wall, did not. He was among the many who worked for nearly a decade to complete this monument.

“We have taken stone and we have made a memorial so that the children and the grandchildren, when they ask will be told the story of these 130 heroes from Montgomery County," Walsh said.

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