254 fallen Vietnam veterans to be honored on STL Soldiers Memorial
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Hundreds of fallen local veterans will, for the first time, be honored for their service in the Vietnam War with new engravings on the Soldiers Memorial Walls.
Earlier this week, 254 new names were engraved into the Soldiers Memorial walls in Downtown St. Louis, and the walls themselves will be rededicated in a Memorial Day Service this Monday.
“I think its incredibly important,” Soldiers Memorial Military Museum Director Mark Sundlov said. “When you go to war as a country, you lose individuals. They have family friends, so (it’s) making permanent mark and remembrance of them and what they gave to all of us.”
Among those to be added to the wall is M.J. Savoy, a 1964 University City High School graduate who enlisted in the Navy but never came back from his service in Vietnam after his cargo plane crashed in the South China Sea.
“The plane lands, unloads its cargo, so he’s only on ground in Vietnam for part of a day,” author and M.J.’s classmate Alan Spector said. “The plane takes off and is not shot down, but explodes in the air and crashes.”
In the six decades since his death, classmate Alan Spector says Savoy’s story has continued to bring his fellow classmates together, no matter what side of the Vietnam War debate they may have been on at the time. He’s even the subject of one of Spector’s books, titled “Body Not Recovered,” which is the official designation on Savoy’s service records.
“When we visited Soldiers Memorial as a class, (those) who served in Vietnam and who protested Vietnam, and we were all in the same room, honoring MJ and really that time in our class.”
The memorial service will begin at 10 a.m. Monday morning. It’s part of a larger exhibit at the museum, chronicling the Vietnam War both at home and abroad.
Copyright 2023 KMOV. All rights reserved.