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
  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-TonsOffTahl-A.jpg Tribes, city, NSU launch Tons Off Tahlequah campaign

    When studies are conducted about whether Americans are living healthy lifestyles, Oklahoma often ranks poorly among the states.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-Trail-show-1.jpg Jackson takes prize

    Cherokee Heritage Center Museum Curator Mickel Yantz kicked off his 10th anniversary at the venue with the opening of the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show this past Friday.
    “The Trail of Tears show was my first exhibit opening when I arrived 10 years ago,” said Yantz. “Since that time, the show has changed so dramatically; we’ve added so many new artists, and the art work has excelled over time. It’s like Christmas for me.”
    Yantz said he was exceptionally pleased with the opening reception.
    “We had a fantastic turnout,” said Yantz. “We had a lot of fun and sold some artwork, which is great for opening night.”
    The exhibit is on display at the Cherokee Heritage Center through May 26. This year’s show features 130 pieces of art spanning eight different categories, including basketry, graphics, jewelry, miniature, painting, pottery and sculpture.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • churchguy.jpg Some NSU students find Church of Monett offensive

    They turn heads every time they show up on campus, and some students at Northeastern State University are offended by their presence.
    The Church of Monett, Mo., has made periodic trips to Tahlequah to stage quiet demonstrations in public campus spaces in recent years. They carry signs that read, “Wives, Obey your Husbands,”; “To be Married to the divorced is Adultery”; and “Don’t be deceived: fornicators homosexuals idolaters adulterers thieves drunkards - shall not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teen sent to hospital after being struck by tractor-trailer

    An 18-year-old Tahlequah man was struck by a tractor-trailer early Tuesday morning on the State Highway 51 bypass near Mimosa Lane.
    Tahlequah Police Capt. Tom Jones said officers responded to the scene at about 5:40 a.m., when Sage Sohns was found injured and lying in the road. A medical helicopter responded to the scene to transport Sohns to a Tulsa hospital, where he was being treated for a closed-head injury, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • TPS board hears architect presentations for cafeteria

    Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education heard from four architectural firms seeking a contract for construction at Cherokee Elementary School.
    TPS plans to build a cafeteria-auditorium and a music room with a stage, which may also serve as a safe room during storms.

    April 16, 2014


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing