Setting record straight on Vietnam Vets memorial

To the editor:

I want to set the record straight. The Master of Ceremonies at the Dedication Ceremony held Aug. 31, for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Burnham, did not have the facts straight. He gave credit to Brittany Etters for the design of the memorial. That is not really true. Charlie Dicken and Erven Priest designed the monument. Brittany Etters did help Erven Priest put the ovals on the design because he could not get it on the computer program. She and her grandfather, Ralph Farvel, did tell us how they kept records for the pavers and other information that was helpful in getting started. We are grateful for their help, but that’s all it was – help in getting started.

Also, ample credit was not given to the other people who did a lot of work on this project. Unfortunately, the emcee was unable to attend meetings that were scheduled, or he would have been better informed. He showed up around 11 a.m. the day of the ceremony and we really didn’t have the time or the foresight to go over everything with him. We did not know that so much credit would be given to Brittany. Also, not enough credit was given to others who did so much work on the monument. Special thanks should go to the following:

Rick Flagle and Ed Goshorn, of Lewistown Monument. They did so much work on the monument – ordered the monument stones and the stencils for the pavers, did the engraving on the monuments, placed the pictures, did the blasting on the brick pavers, made sure things were here on time and gave us a huge discount.

Rick Barger, of Barger’s Landscaping Plus, provided all of the dirt, all of the stone, plants, trees. He and his crew did the landscaping, mowing, pulled weeds, trimmed bushes, planted grass, put in mulch, beautified the entire circle. They also gave us a huge discount.

Kenny Bartley did the concrete sidewalks at a discounted price.

Fraternal Order of Eagles Seven Mt. Aerie 4294, of Burnham and the Burnham Fire Company for their very generous donations to support our project.

Members of both the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 791 and the Associates of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 791 for the many jobs that needed done in the background to make this dream come true.

Please help us to give credit where credit is due. Thank you.

Deborah C. Priest, President

AVVA Chapter 791