A memorial to honor the more than 2,700 5th Marine Regiment servicemembers killed in action during the Vietnam War arrived in San Diego Tuesday after a nearly weeklong journey from Vermont.
The 5th Marine Vietnam War Memorial, a 50-ton monument made of six panels of black granite, is expected to be installed at the Camp San Mateo Memorial Garden on Camp Pendleton Thursday -- the first anniversary of National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
The names of the 2,706 Marines and sailors killed during the Vietnam War more than 50 years ago are engraved onto the granite slabs, said the 1/5 Vietnam Veterans Association, a group out of Dana Point who orchestrated the efforts behind the memorial.
Transported by veterans via three flatbed trucks -- and accompanied at times by Patriot Guard Riders and fellow Marines -- the memorial traveled through 12 states, including New York, Arkansas, Texas and Arizona, on its journey to Camp Pendleton. The memorial left Vermont on March 15.
The association said the memorial is meant to serve not only as a tribute to the hundreds of servicemembers who died during the Vietnam War but also as a way to facilitate healing for other Marines and sailors.