Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Pennsylvania XXXIV

Memorialized forever at the Luzerne County Courthouse are the 11,000 from the county who served and the 85 who perished or are MIA.

 The memorial is in Wilkes-Barre on the beautiful courthouse grounds. 

Called "the Valiant Veteran, here is the information from the dedication plaque on the base of the statue:

"This Monument of the Vietnam War Memorial for Luzerne County is a depiction of a heavy gauge bronze sculpture with a natural sulfide bronehantite patina set atop a slate base. The base is 10' long, 6' 10" wide, 2' high. The sculpture atop measures 10' high, for a total of 12' from the ground. The figure of the valiant veteran is 8' 5" tall from toe to head, or 1.43 times life size.
The warrior, wearing combat fatigue pants and boots holds a broken K-Bar Knife and stands atop the shield - the Keystone of Pennsylvania, an allegory to the return of the spartan soldier to the intonation "with it or on it." In the figure's left hand is a crown of stars symbolizing the branches of the Armed Services taken from the brow - his head turned in grief.
Behind the figure stands the symbols of Vietnam, which is pierced by pungee sticks, a barbaric guerrilla warfare weapon utilized in Southeast Asia. There is one spear for each 3 years of our involvement in this war. These symbolize the enslavement of Vietnam in the Bamboo Curtain of Communism, the misery of this country at its loss of liberty,
our sons and brothers whose blood was spilled on her soil, the Prisoners of War and the Missing In Action, the imprisoned and those who have never returned. The spaces between the pungee sticks symbolize the IV Corps of Action in Vietnam.
The slate base is set at 17 degrees to the ground, the parallel of the latitude of the partition between North and South Vietnam on our entrance to the war. Upon the base of this monumental sculpture are the names of our native sons who gave their lives in the Action. 

Gerhard Francis Baut, B.F.A.
Am di Venezia

Dedicated February 21st, 1988"

The names of the 85 lost are inscribed upon the base.

The stars and the ends of the pungee stakes are seen here.

Some photographs of the lost.

This somewhat unusual depiction of the service and sacrifice of those who served is not without some controversy. I have read unflattering and ignorant remarks about the style, but to each his own, I guess. I think it is quite striking and well worth a moment of your time should you find your self in Wilkes-Barre.

Next time, on the 23rd, we will return to Virginia, so join me there at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from Pennsylvania, or any other state, please click on the state name on the left side of this page.

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