Overdue Thanks: Morgan County Vietnam Veterans Memorial now in place

More than a decade of fundraising, research, publicity, paperwork and design have come to life on the Fairfax Green in downtown Berkeley Springs. On Friday, March 26, crews from Gordon’s Memorials and Digging & Rigging lifted and placed the granite pieces of the Morgan County Vietnam Veterans Memorial on their permanent home. Memorial effort founders Chuck and Linda Hampe watched over the day-long process, from the placing of the first step to the settling of the topmost medal honoring those who served during the Vietnam War. Other memorial committee volunteers — those who have served fundraising breakfasts, gathered items for auction, registered veterans and researched military records — joined the Hampe’s along Fairfax Street throughout the day to watch the progress of the memorial. Sunshine and high winds punctuated the day. Passing vehicles, seeing the memorial rising on the Fairfax Green, honked and waved as new pieces were added. Etched into three faces of the monument are 600 names. On a fourth face is a poem titled “Overdue Thanks.” Names are divided into sections as those who were lost in the war, those who served in country, county residents who served during the era and those who served during the Vietnam era and later made Morgan County their home. Crews will finalize their work on the monument on Saturday. A dedication ceremony is being planned for the future.