Vietnam Veteran memorial

A monument was dedicated in front of the Lashmeet Freewill Baptist Church to memorialize fallen Vietnam Veterans from the Lashmeet/Matoaka area

LASHMEET — To memorialize fallen Vietnam Veterans from the Lashmeet/Matoaka area, a monument was dedicated on Saturday in front of Lashmeet Freewill Baptist Church that will forever honor their sacrifice.

While there used to be a monument in front the old Matoaka school, it was lost once the school was closed down. In an effort to keep these brave veteran’s memories alive, the process to create the memorial was started.

“This is a good reminder for younger generations and families, of what they’ve lost in the process,” Steve Holt, a nephew of one of the memorialized veterans, said.

According to Holt, funding for the monument was donated by a list of generous donators, including the Mercer County Commission, and the Preservati Family. Once funding was complete, the next project was to find a location to place the monument.

With the fallen veterans being from areas such as Pembroke, Lashmeet, and Matoaka, the church seemed a great midpoint to place it.

“There’s not enough we can do for these men,” Holt said.

Having been an integral part in the process to erect the monument, Mercer County Commissioner Gene Buckner spoke on the importance of honoring our nation’s veterans. Within the church, Buckner spoke on the privilege that Americans have to enter a church and freely worship in the Christian faith. To this, he thanks athe veterans for their sacrifices to ensure our freedom.

According to Buckner, when he was approached by members of the Vietnam Veterans Princeton Chapter 628, he knew that the monument project was something he wanted to be a part of. From there he and the County Commission worked to make it a reality.

During the ceremony, Roger Williams, of the aforementioned Vietnam Veterans Princeton Chapter 628, read the Solider’s Creed so that the crowd would, “Know exactly what a soldier is.”

On the monument itself, the names of the veterans read as follows: Army SP4 Robert Lee Anglin, Army PFC, Merril Holt, Marine LCPL Johnny Ray Mills, Army PFC Paul Wayne Shrewsbury, and Marine PFC Danny Carl White.

Contact Emily D. Coppola at ecoppola@bdtonline.com