YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Sunday, more than 200 people showed up to the Laying of the Roses at The Square in downtown Youngstown to pay respects to Vietnam soldiers who were killed or missing in action.
“They’re not forgotten,” said Stanley Clingerman a Vietnam veteran. “And I think that is the biggest thing — not letting our war heroes be forgotten.”
The Vietnam War memorial — where the roses were placed on Sunday — holds the names of everyone from the Mahoning County that died fighting or went missing in action. Clingerman said participating in this ceremony makes him feel proud.
“It makes me feel that I’m contributing,” he said. “I’m saying, ‘Thanks guys.'”
Several students from Boardman High School helped run the event. They said they were eager to participate in such an important tradition.
“It makes me feel good to be able to honor some of the people who may not have fought necessarily alongside of my grandfather but have been there during the same and have gone through some of the same stuff he has,” said Kaylin Burkey, a Boardman High sophomore.
Events like these help Burkey understand the impact of the war even though she wasn’t around for it.
“It helps me realize that what they went through is not a joke,” Burkey said. “It was really something that they went through. The proof is on the wall. Their names are engraved and they will forever be remembered there.”
Katherine Marlow, an ROTC member at YSU, said that it is a great feeling to know that the veteran community is supported here in Youngstown.
“It is very touching to know that there’s so many people out there,” she said. “And they care enough to come to events like these. It pulls our community so much closer together.”