by Kym Byrnes
Just two blocks off of Main Street in Westminster, next to the courthouse, sits a quiet area green with grass and trees where the names and faces of some of Carroll County’s finest are displayed. The large granite wall is etched with the names and faces of 18 Carroll County residents who were killed or went missing during the Vietnam War.
The monument, dedicated in 1990, reads “This memorial is dedicated to mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, lovers, friends and most of all dreams of the men and women from Carroll County who risked it all in Vietnam.”
Not far from the Vietnam War Memorial another monument honoring local soldiers was erected. In 1995, at the urging of then Mayor Benjamin Brown, a Korean War Memorial was built next to Westminster City Hall. Sitting below the American flag, the memorials offer a chance for us to continue to honor the men and women from our community who have given their lives in war.
According to Warriorsremembered.com, there are other memorials throughout the county. The Hampstead War Memorial on Md. 30 honors those lost in WWII and Vietnam. The memorial on High Street in New Windsor honors military men and women lost in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The memorial on Penrose Street in Union Bridge names Carroll County residents who gave their lives in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm.
As we celebrate Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11, let us be reminded of the men and women who left our community to fight for our country, never to return home.
Equally important to honoring those who have lost their lives fighting for our country is to recognize those who went to war and returned. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 13,155 veterans were living in Carroll County in 2013.
Several years ago Carroll leadership created the Veteran Services Program of Carroll County to help local veterans access federal and state benefits and services. The program includes the Carroll County Veterans Shuttle Transportation Program, which provides transportation for veterans to VA medical facilities. There are also two veteran’s employment representatives located in Westminster (at the Carroll County Business and Employment Resource Center at 224 N. Center St.) who help veterans prepare for and obtain employment.
As we continue to send our loved ones abroad to fight in wars, it is imperative that we continue to honor those who made it back home, as well as those who will forever be lost to us. This Veteran’s Day, consider visiting one of our local memorials and take the time to thank a veteran.
Learn more about local veteran services at www.carrollveterans.com.