On May 28, the 1/5 Vietnam Veterans Association will dedicate the 5th Marines Vietnam War Memorial with a ceremony at Camp San Mateo’s 5th Marine Regiment Memorial Garden, in San Clemente, California. The memorial will honor the 2,706 Marines and sailors who died in Vietnam while serving with the 5th Regiment.
The monument was designed entirely with granite by monument builder Rock of Ages. The layout includes a total of six name panels arranged in a “U” shape around the center piece. Both sides of the name panels list those killed in action for a total of 12 name panels. The battalions and porcelain emblems are listed at the top of the panels for each unit. The panels list the rank, first name, middle initial and last name of the 2,706 killed in action with the 5th Marines during the Vietnam War. Twelve granite benches accommodate visitors to the Camp San Mateo Memorial Park with great close-up views of the memorial.
This project holds special meaning for both Rock of Ages and the Veterans organizations involved. David Fournier, large projects specialist at Rock of Ages, said, “Early on in the project, Steve Colwell of the 1/5 Vietnam Veterans Association payed us a visit and it was quite an experience listening to him talk about his Vietnam tour with D Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines. This memorial means so much to him, and we are truly honored to be a part of it.”
Those involved with raising funds for the project include the 1/5 Vietnam Veterans Association, the 1st Marine Division Association, the Dana Point 5th Marines Support Group, and the 5th Marine Regiment Command Group.
About the 1/5 Vietnam Veterans Unit Chapter
The 1/5 Vietnam Veterans Unit Chapter of the 1st Marine Division Association is a 501 (C) (19) not-for-profit corporation chartered in the state of North Carolina. The organization’s missions include supporting the 1st Marine Division Association and its Scholarship Programs; preserving incidents and memories of the Marines and Sailors who served with 1/5/1 during the Vietnam War; and fostering, encouraging, and perpetuating the memory and the spirit and comradeship in arms of the 1/5/1 Vietnam Veterans. For more information, visit 1-5vietnamveterans.org.
Pictured above: Patriot Guard Riders escorted three flatbed tractor-trailers hauling the 5th Marines Vietnam War Memorial from Rock of Ages to Camp Pendleton, California.
About the author: Danielle Thibault is a senior publicist and social media manager. She submitted this article to VAntage Point on behalf of the 1/5 Vietnam Veterans Unit Chapter.