May 16, 2014

Editorial: Vietnam hero photos sought

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, continuing its mission to honor service members killed in the Vietnam War, is expanding its reach and is asking for the public’s help.

It is building a new education center at the Vietnam Memorial Wall and needs photos of war dead to complete the tribute to each individual.

Most of the photos of the service personnel killed in action are in hand — about 34,000 of the 58,286 KIAs, in fact.

These photos will help complete an electronic “Wall of Faces” in the new education center at the wall.

Construction for the facility is planned to start in 2016 and to be completed in 2019.

What a grand remembrance for a group of service people not highly regarded for their heroic efforts back in the volatile political era when their lives were so abruptly terminated.

A picture may or may not be worth 1,000 words, as legend claims, but, while a name on a wall will touch the hearts of a few, a photograph has broader appeal.

It is easy to understand certain, few cases in which family connections of someone killed half a century ago have been severed for good.

For most, though, access to a family-owned photo must surely survive.

That is the hope of the foundation, as it considers ways to summon the public’s aid. We’ll all be hearing more about these appeals as the project progresses.

Meanwhile, we in the North Country can begin considering our own connections.

Information on the project can be found at

The Press-Republican has traced the names of the 25 local servicemen killed in Vietnam whose photos are missing. Here they are:

Clinton County: Edward F. Brown Jr., Thomas E. Townsley, Robert C. Wallace, Robert V. Snipe, Gene A. LaBounty, Albert W. Cudworth, Eugene E. Bonnett, Michael F. Conley, Arthur R. Duprey and Carl J. Latour of Plattsburgh; Michael J. Petrashune of Lyon Mountain; John F. Snow of Rouses Point; and Gerard M. McDonald of Ellenburg Depot.

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