POW-MIA Day Observed on 30th Anniversary
The Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (PVVMF) will commemorate its 30th year anniversary on Friday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. by honoring the POW/MIAs from that war, including the 19 recognized at the Memorial.
The observance, which is being held on POW/MIA Day, will feature the “missing man” ceremony performed by the PVVM Society and brief remarks from Ralph Galati, who was held for 14 months in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.” Major Ashlock, the brother of Carlos, who is still listed as missing, will participate in the event and the names of the 10 MIAs will be read.
The PVVMF is currently conducting a campaign to raise $85,000 build a POW/MIA Monument on the south side of the memorial grounds at Spruce Street and Columbus Blvd. The dedication is scheduled for the fall of 2018.
The Memorial was dedicated on October 26-27, 1987 after a grass roots campaign conducted by area Vietnam Veterans, including former PA Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille. The campaign was famous for the “last patrol” where a group of veterans, including double-amputee Dennis Best, the current PVVMF vice president, walked from the national memorial in Washington, DC, to Philadelphia with the rubbings of local names. The Philadelphia memorial was upgraded as part of a $1 million campaign completed in 2009.