CLARENDON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Thirteen crosses stand tall outside the Clarendon County Courthouse to honor the twelve soldiers and one Airman killed in action during the Vietnam War.
The ceremony was held Monday morning in Clarendon County by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 960. Each cross has a plaque with a printed name of the fallen. All the names are placed in a V formation.
“It means a lot to their families and to all of us to honor those 13," Air Force and Korean War veteran George Callaway said.
Family members of the 13 veterans placed their loved one’s plaque on the cross one-by-one in the ceremony.
“I was happy and I was angry. I was happy because we had the opportunity to celebrate what he had done for this country," said W.J Frierson, who lost his brother in the Vietnam War. "I was angry because 48 years ago, they did not get this reception. I’m so happy that we’ve come full circle to give them their full duty.”
While other Clarendon County residents were wounded and died at a later date from injuries, only these thirteen veterans were actually killed in action during the Vietnam War.
For Curtis Zeigler, his uncle Glen’s memory lives on through him.
“He’s very much the reason I serve in the Marine Corps today,” Curtis Zeigler, who served in the Marines said. “I wanted to show my thanks and appreciation and admiration not only to him but all the veterans that served.”
It was a rainy Monday, with roughly a hundred in attendance. Thirteen crosses and American flags stand tall in the ground, to recognize and give these Clarendon County soldiers the homecoming they deserve.
“It’s a big blessing knowing that people can come together on one accord because one way or another we all suffered, and these are the things that when we can come together and honor these people that have served the country it is a big blessing to everybody," said James Zeigler, an Army veteran who lost his brother in the Vietnam War.