OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — Olmsted Falls is honoring the region’s Vietnam Veterans during the 2nd Annual Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day at the Village Green on Saturday, June 26.
The 5:30 p.m. ceremony will be followed by an oldies concert nearby. The Village Green has a new memorial dedicated in 2019 that includes markers for Vietnam vets and a new home for a plaque honoring World War II service members that was relocated from the other side of the park.
The new memorial space was funded through private donations and includes Gary Martell’s name from the Olmsted Falls High School Class of 1966. For years, fellow Vietnam Veteran Rick Adler said Martell’s name wasn’t included in Olmsted Falls memorials until the new one was dedicated in 2019.
Adler says he hopes ceremonies like these allow veterans and their families to discuss their service, maybe for the first time.
"Maybe it'll help us, meaning Vietnam Veterans and other veterans that have been in combat to be able to go, 'You know what, now that they've heard some of this stuff, maybe it won't be so hard for me or them to come up and ask," said Adler.
COVID kept crowds away in 2020, forcing the city to instead record speeches remembering veterans to post on its social media accounts.
"It's important to especially do this for the Vietnam Vets because 50 years ago, they were not treated with the respect they deserved," said Olmsted Falls Mayor Jim Graven.
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