Midstate memorial grows with addition of three soldiers KIA in Vietnam

PLAINFIELD, Pa. (WHTM) – A memorial in Cumberland County continues to grow in honor of our nation’s veterans, and in honor of those who never made it home to the Midstate.

Sunday, the group taking care of the memorial dedicated several new additions. Despite the cold, at least a couple hundred people showed up to take part.

To Lana Negley, who was there Sunday afternoon, her cousin Kenneth Devor was more like a twin growing up.

The two were inseparable.

“Those are the good memories,” Negley said. “You know, the fun times.”

When they went to Big Spring High School in Newville, Cumberland County, Kenny, as she often called him, gave Lana a bracelet in the shape of a coiled snake.

“Why a snake,” she wondered, “I don’t know.”

Kenny died in Vietnam in 1968; Sunday was the first time Lana brought the bracelet out of safe keeping in a long time.

“It’s very difficult,” Negley said. “He took a piece of my heart along with him, which has never been fulfilled.”

Sgt. Kenneth Devor is one of three soldiers now honored at the memorial in West Pennsboro Township Park in Plainfield, Cumberland County.

The other two, Pfc. Harold Barrick and Cpl. Dennis Lehman, also went to Big Spring; they, too, were killed in action in Vietnam.

“There were six individuals from Big Spring High School [who] died in the line of duty,” said Chas Finkenbinder, chairman of the recreation advisory council for West Pennsboro Township. “After today, we have all six of those honored.”

The advisory council unveiled three new monuments at the site Sunday, one for each Midstate soldier. The blocks inscribed with the soldiers’ names lay outside the walls the memorial dedicated to all branches of the military.

There’s also a new base relief sculpture on a wall inside the semi-circle, which honors all Vietnam vets.

“Inside the memorial is for all veterans,” Finkenbinder said. “There is no individual names inside, and there never will be.”

It doesn’t make the pain go away; but for Negley, the dedication provides a different way for her kids, grandkids, and herself to remember her cousin.

“It’s an honor to be able to have them be able to come to a place like this.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s