Dogwood Vietnam Memorial

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The Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, erected in 1966, is considered by some to be the first Vietnam memorial in the U.S. It is located in the eastern portion of McIntire Park[1], and is rededicated every year on the last day of the Dogwood Festival[2].

In the 1960s, the United States was at war in Vietnam. In 1966, the memorial was dedicated to those of the Charlottesville-Albemarle area who were killed or missing in action.[3] The festival was financed by Charlottesville Businessmen and Sol Weinberg, the future mayor of Charlottesville, was the first president of the festival. [4] There is a plaque listing those twenty-three men from Charlottesville and Albemarle who gave their lives for their country during the war. The memorial is rededicated every April, and twenty-three new flags are placed at it to honor those fallen men. The flag, which has flown over the nation’s capital building, is also replaced every year at the rededication. A different veteran of the Vietnam War is the guest speaker every year, and each year the old flag is given to them. [3] Also part of the rededication ceremony is trumpet rendition of “Taps”, a bag-pipe rendition of “Amazing Grace”, and a 21-gun salute.[3] Jim Shisler is the founder of this Vietnam Memorial, and as Dogwood board member is responsible for the planning and execution of the re-dedication ceremony each year.<[3]

The memorial is listed as a landmark of historic significance for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act[citation needed].

The Veterans Honored

The Memorial honors all soliders who fought in the Vietnam War, especially those from the Charlottesville-Albemarle area who gave their lives to the service. Their names are listed here:

Champ Jackson Lawson, Jr.

Grandville Anthony Jones

Erskine Buford Wilde

John Devon Tyler

Harvey Mulhauser

Howard Eslie Hollar

Roger Mark Link

Walter Franklin Payne

Carl Reed Gibson

Douglas Delano Wallace

Robert Edward Marshall

Clyde R. Perry, Jr.

James M. Kardos

Charles K. Butler

Richard Thomas Carter

Robert Hoyt Ruggles

Wayne Dabney McRay

Rodolph L. Nunn, Jr.

Floyd Burnett Coates

Howell Frank Blakey

Walter Ross, Jr.

Thomas D. Grinnell, III

Oscar Mauterer


Meadowcreek Parkway

The Dogwood Vietnam Memorial is currently located in the eastern part of McIntire Park. [1], and is rededicated every year on the last day of the Dogwood Festival[2].

However, the proposed Route 250 Interchange of the Meadowcreek Parkway will potentially interfere with the memorial at its current location.

"There is the possibility of having it work in its existing site, but it's just as possible that it would have to be moved," Mike Svetz, the head of Charlottesville’s Parks and Recreation Department told the Daily Progress. If necessary, the memorial will be moved to a different location within McIntire Park.[2]. As a historic landmark, the terms of the National Historic Preservation Act must be met before the road project is approved. Many veterans are opposed to the possible relocation of the memorial. Some claim that it is disrespectful to those who are honored at the memorial. A final decision for the design of the interchange, and therefore, the future of the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, will be made in February 2011. .[2]

DogwoodVietnamMemorial img5010a 569x403.jpg


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Web. Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, City of Charlottesville, retrieved 4/9/09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Web. Dogwood Vietnam Memorial’s future uncertain, Seth Rosen, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, 6/12/2007, retrieved 4/09/09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Web. "The Charlottesville Dogwood Festival", Smith, Elizabeth D. Wood, Google Books, retrieved 18 Nov. 2010.
  4. [1]