Did You Know: World’s First Vietnam War Memorial Is In Millville
In the middle 1970s, the same thing was happening in Millville, New Jersey that was happening in many, many cities and towns across the country: Young men were returning home from Vietnam.
The Vietnam War had ended and tens of thousands of young men returned home. (Most, unfortunately, were never given a proper 'Welcome Home" of "Thank You!")
In Millville, some communities leaders stepped forward and did something very special: They put together a memorial to remember the lives lost in the war.
According to Roadside America, in 1977, two years after the war ended, the Millville Jaycees built a memorial to those lost.
This memorial was built many years before the famous memorial in Washington D.C., and apparently, before anywhere else had built a memorial to the war.
This was the first one - the first Vietnam War Memorial!
"It was low-budget and industrial-looking: two iron beams supporting a thin bronze plate affixed with two large copper medallions. One side showed a soldier tending to a dying comrade; the other had his last words, imploring everyone not to forget."
The Memorial was built along the Maurice River, and was "low-budget."
Later, though, in 2010, the memorial was rebuilt. Many of the original Jaycees once again played a role in the project.
The memorial, including original medallions from the first go-round, still stands today, just off Riverside Drive in Millville.
Seven young men from Millville died in the Vietnam War.
That's the story of the world's first memorial to the Vietnam War.