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Vietnam Veterans Gather in McIntire Park for Rededication Ceremony

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

There is a new -- and formal -- and well deserved -- recognition Friday for Charlottesville's memorial to those who fought in Vietnam. The oldest of it's type anywhere in the United States.

Vietnam veterans their families and friends gathered in McIntire Park for the 51st Annual Rededication Ceremony of the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial. The ceremony included the celebration of a new addition.

A new state historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources was unveiled at the park, it's one of more than 2,400 highway markers throughout the commonwealth.

"It's memorializing a topic that is fairly recent in our history," said Julie Langan; VA Dept of Historic Resources. 

The creation of what's believed to be the first public Vietnam memorial in the united states.

Thursday marked 51 years and one day since the first dedication of the dogwood vietnam memorial in 1966.

Dozens gathered for a re-dedication ceremony. 

The Memorial Plaza, also known as "the hill that heals" displays the faces, names and biographies of 28 soldiers from the Charlottesville and Albemarle County area who gave their lives in battle.

"It gets emotional at times and uh that uh throughout the whole year I think about the fellow brothers and sisters that I served with over there," said Randy Wood of American Legion Post 74. 

The new state marker is a bittersweet reminder of the fallen heroes' sacrifice to their country.

"I think of these markers as soundbites of history," said Julie Langan of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

History that's never forgotten