GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Leaders across South Carolina hosted a ceremony Monday morning to celebrate a big step to get the names of South Carolina veterans on a memorial.
State and local leaders hosted a ceremony in Greenville to celebrate more than $220,000 and counting raised by former South Carolina senator Lewis Vaughn and Greenville’s Foothills chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association
The money will help with a $22 million national project dedicated to construct a wall of remembrance in Washington, D.C. to honor the lives of those who died or went missing in the Korean War.
“We have a passion to get it done for our veterans who wanted this done for such a long time. We have to make it a reality and we are going to make it a reality,” John H. Tilelli Jr., retired general at the Korean Memorial Wall Fund, said.
The Wall of Remembrance comes nearly 70 years after the Korean War ended. The war only lasted for three years but almost 40,000 Americans lost their lives.
The names of an estimated 576 people in South Carolina are expected to be added to the wall.
“That’s the least we can do. When you leave your home, go to some foreign place and you never come back, you deserve to have your name on a monument,” S.C. Senator Lindsey Graham said.
The Foothills #301 chapter raised the money through fund raising and private donations starting in 2017.
Local leaders in Greenville said this will help honor those who gave their life for our country.
“For those veterans who served in the war from the United States, that special circumstance of coming home, being in such a celebratory situation and your life resumed— until it didn’t. It makes their sacrifice all the more amazing and something we have to respect,” Knox White, mayor of Greenville, said.
Officials said the entire Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. is currently undergoing renovations for The Wall of Remembrance and is expected to be fully completed by July 2022.