York Vietnam vet: ‘My last job in the Marine Corps was notification of next of kin’
Bill Fissel looks over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial sculpture at artist Lorann Jacob’s Dallastown studio. The finished work will be displayed at the York Expo Center. Background posts: War memorials stand proudly in towns throughout York County and Sculptor molds York’s past for posterity and Who’s your candidate for the next York statue?.
Vets promoting a monument to commemorate the sacrifice of 101 or more York countians in the Vietnam War are within $50,000 of their goal.
The statue will greet the thousands who attend functions at the York Expo Center, the old York Fairgrounds, each years.
In that respect, it will be separated from counterpart statues in downtown York observing World War II and Korean War vets.
But the Vietnam statue will have a major asset in common with its counterparts… .
Lorann Jacobs with her latest sculpture. To see an inventory of her work,click here.
Lorann Jacobs is working on the Vietnam War statue, too.
Here is a York Daily Record/Sunday New article updating the project:
For service members who witnessed the death of their comrades, the image brought back powerful memories.
And that’s exactly what sculptor Lorann Jacobs strived for during countless work hours during the last couple of years.
From her Dallastown studio Friday, Jacobs unveiled the Vietnam Veterans Memorial — a life-size sculpture of three soldiers in the Vietnam War that will be placed near the Carlisle Avenue entrance to the York Expo Center.
The memorial will also contain the names of more than 100 local soldiers who were killed in action during the war.
Jacobs said creating the memorial was emotionally and physically difficult because she wanted it to symbolize the personal sacrifice of local soldiers in the war.
“The veterans pieces are . . . so draining to do . . . but so satisfying,” she said. Jacobs also talked of high-school friends who died in the Vietnam War. “This is what I was meant to do.”
Upon seeing the work — which is made of clay and will soon be sent to Philadelphia to be cast in bronze — Vietnam Veterans Bill Fissel and Tony Stabile, who are also advocates for the memorial, said it brought back vivid memories.
“It just brings you back to the hot days and the rainy days in Vietnam,” said Stabile, who served in the U.S. Marines from 1945 to 1972. “You get real emotional.”
Supporters of the memorial, scheduled to be dedicated in October, have raised about $200,000 and fundraisers are under way to get about $50,000 more for the completion of the memorial and its future upkeep.
The monument is an important reminder of the sacrifice soldiers made to their country and the families they left behind, Stabile said.
“To me, it was my life,” Stabile said of his long career in the military. “My last job in the Marine Corps was notification of next of kin . . . That was a tough job.”
Fissel said the statue is a symbol of respect for those who fought and died in the war. It’s a good tribute, he said.
“It’s a feeling, it makes me warm,” said Fissel, who served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1968. He carries one of his dog tags on his key chain to commemorate his fallen comrades from the war. “It’s not like the feeling we got when we came home.”
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee needs about $50,000 to complete funding to pay for upcoming maintenance for the memorial.
For a tax-deductible $100 donation, a personalized engraved brick will be placed on the patio of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Also, officials for the memorial are asking for correct name spellings of local Vietnam Veterans that were killed in action. These names will be engraved on the memorial.
For more information, call 792-9107 or 634-0245, or write:
York County Department of Veterans Affairs
100 W. Market St.
York, PA 17405
This is a model of the Vietnam monument.