Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

April 19, 2013

Names on the wall

TAHLEQUAH — In the mind of a Vietnam veteran, a visit to the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall calls up memories of a time in the nation’s history that was riddled with domestic and foreign conflict. It reminds others of friends or family lost to the ravages of war.

The wall stands as a testament to the axiom that individual freedoms come at a significant cost. More than 58,000 names pay tribute to those who died or are still missing in Southeast Asia. And even after nearly four decades, emotions can still be raw, and tears can well up unexpectedly in the eyes of those who stand humbly before the smooth, black panels.

The opening ceremony for the traveling Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, a three-quarter replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was held April 18 on Sequoyah Schools’ football field. Area veterans, their families, friends, local and area dignitaries, and supporters of the U.S. military, gathered to show their respect for the fallen and to honor their memory.

These heroes should never be forgotten, said retired Tulsa police officer and Vietnam veteran Keith Welch.

“The worst thing is not getting killed over in Vietnam. The worst thing is to be forgotten,” he said. “That wall represents the people who made the ultimate sacrifice. This is to keep history alive.”

Former Sen. Jim Wilson, also a Vietnam veteran, was master of ceremonies. Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden, another Vietnam veteran, was keynote speaker. Other dignitaries included Rep. Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah; Sen. Earl Garrison, D-Muskogee; Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols; Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker; and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma Chief George Wickliffe. Nichols read the names of the fallen soldiers from Cherokee County.

Vietnam veteran Roy Blackfox was a tank driver during the war, and was searching for the name of his friend, Erskine Logan Crump, as well as the names of family members who were killed in Vietnam.

“All of these names here, they’re human beings, and I know some of them who we left back there,” he said. “I know the Bible says there’s no such thing as luck, but maybe they’ll all get to come home like some of us did.”

Pat Cochran hopes the generations of today learn about the men who fought and died in the Vietnam War.

“It’s amazing to me all these lives they gave. I’m sure they didn’t want to be there, but they gave the commitment to serve their country,” she said. “I’m thankful for these guys. I know they didn’t get much of an applause when they came home. It needs to be taught what these men did for this country.”

Massachusetts Marine veteran William Havalottie, who drives the semi-truck that carries the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, noted the duty was a way to honor the fallen soldiers.

“The wall sets up at 240 feet long. The youngest one on the wall is 15 years old. He lied and went into the Marine Corps. The oldest is 66,” he said. “There are eight women on that wall who got killed over there, too. They were nurses, officers.”

For Havalottie, it’s a pleasure to transport the wall all over the country for the people to see.

“I was in that era of Vietnam, but never got over there. So this is my respect getting back to them for the freedom we have,” he said.

Area U.S. Army Veteran Jesse Butler served during the Vietnam era and has volunteered at 14 locations where the traveling wall was on display.

“The guy I’ve always done this in memory of is Larry John Malloy. He was killed July 26, 1967. His name is located at 24-E, 11-3,” he said. “It’s been very emotional. I had one lady come looking for a name. She had lost a guy she was dating, and she commented to me with tears in her eyes. She said, ‘I left my good husband on the wall.’”

The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall can be viewed 24 hours a day through Sunday, April 21, at Sequoyah Schools football field

 Anyone visiting the wall may leave memorabilia, pictures, mementos, anything of the like to honor a fallen soldier. The items will be collected and later buried at the Tahlequah City Cemetery.

Text Only
Local News
  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • gawf-johnny.jpg Nylon case doesn’t fool deputy; drug charges to be filed

    A Tahlequah man is jailed at the Cherokee County Detention Center after being arrested on drug possession charges.
    Deputy Michael Cates stopped Johnny Lee Gawf, 25, near Stick Ross Mountain Road and U.S. Highway 62. Gawf did not have his driver’s license and had a no-bond warrant for failure to pay.
    When Gawf was asked to step out of his vehicle, he allegedly reached into a pocket and pulled out a black nylon case, which he claimed to be a pocket knife. Gawf sat the case in the seat of the vehicle.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-CN-citizenship.jpg Dual citizenship still OK for tribes

    It’s been almost a year since the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma was forced to close its casino, leaving about 150 members without jobs.
    Right before the operations was shuttered, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker offered a plan to absorb UKB employees, scheduling three employment registration meetings in September 2013.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • TPS to hold graduation at Doc Wadley, after all

    A letter obtained by the Tahlequah Daily Press states that graduation exercises for the Tahlequah High School Class of 2014 will be held at Doc Wadley Stadium on May 23.
    Tahlequah Public Schools received an invitation from the city and Northeastern State University to hold the graduation ceremony inside the NSU multipurpose event center, and the district was initially agreeable. But the necessity of limiting invitations to 10 or 15 per student because of seating concerns drew heavy criticism from seniors and parents.

    April 22, 2014

  • Woman allegedly went after relative, then cop

    Deputies say a 22-year-old woman assaulted a family member Saturday, then attacked an officer when he tried to arrest her.
    Deputy Bryan Qualls was sent to investigate the domestic disturbance at Hilltop Circle. Donna Wilder, the alleged victim, told Qualls that the suspect, Kaylynn Sharp, was hiding in the garage, and had struck her in the face several times.

    April 22, 2014

  • jn-city-pool.jpg City of Tahlequah progressing on bond projects

    Just more than a year after the city began collecting a sales tax funds for use on capital improvements, crews continue to work toward finishing several of the projects.
    “We’re going to deliver everything we said we would,” Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols said Friday.
    The $21-million-plus bond issue approved in 2013 includes about $10 million worth of street projects. South Muskogee Avenue will eventually be widened into a five-lane stretch; East Fourth Street’s widening project is underway; and West Fourth will become, at least in part, a three-lane road.
    Projects will also focus on parts of North Grand, East Allen, Bluff, Crafton, and North Cedar.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall-dustin.jpg Four men charged with burglary

    Four local men are facing burglary and stolen-property charges in Cherokee County District Court.
    Prosecutors have charged the four men with second-degree burglary and knowingly concealing stolen property.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos


How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security