Memorial set to open for Veterans Day
By Jeff Harrison
Construction of a new Vietnam Memorial at Midwest City High School is scheduled to begin next week.
The outdoor memorial will be built on the south side of the high school, near the museum. It is expected to be completed for Veterans Day on Nov. 11.
A black granite “Wall of Honor,” displaying the names and images of the 22 MCHS students who died in the Vietnam War, will serve as the centerpiece for the circular memorial plaza. It will include flag poles, battlefield crosses, bench seating and brick pavers honoring all veterans. The memorial will also honor alumni who died in the Oklahoma City bombing and in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“The granite wall will tie it in with the memorial in Washington, DC, but we didn’t want to only have their names listed so we had all of their pictures etched in the wall too,” said Bob Osmond, chair of the Midwest City High School Vietnam War Memorial Project Committee.
The concept was designed by Tony Callaway, an architect and Vietnam veteran, who donated the design drawings and promotional video.
The Mid-Del School Board approved construction plans during their monthly meeting on Monday night. The project is also endorsed by the non-profit Midwest City High School Museum and History Center, where the outdoor memorial wall will be constructed.
Bob Osmond, committee chair, said the concept originated at the 50th reunion of the Class of 1964. That MCHS class of 525 graduates included about 100 veterans. Thirty-five served in Vietnam and four never returned home.
The committee raised money for the project by selling commemorative challenge coins, pavers and bricks and through donations. That included $90,000 in matching funds from the Midwest City Memorial Hospital Authority grant program. They have also received many in-kind donations.
A groundbreaking ceremony was planned for Thursday morning (after press time).
The group is still selling inscribed pavers and bricks at the memorial. The bricks (4×8) are $100 and pavers are $2,500 and $5,000. T-shirts and challenge coins are also available.
The project is estimated to cost $250,000.
To purchase a brick or paver, visit www.bombervietnammemorial.org or call Bob Osmond at 642-0277.
The deadline to have a brick or paver placed before the dedication is Sept. 30.