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Fayette's Vietnam vets plan vigil

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Thursday, May 8, 2014, 5:03 p.m.

Vietnam Veterans of Fayette County will again hold an annual vigil, beginning at noon on May 16, at the Fayette County Vietnam Memorial, corner of Walnut Street and Buttermilk Lane, Hopwood, in front of Amvets Post 103.

A candlelight service will follow at 9 p.m.

Families and friends of the 49 county residents who were killed and one missing can participate and honor the fallen by lighting candles in their memories.

Seven of those who were killed were from the Connellsville area.

The vigil, ending at 11 p.m. on May 16, will begin again at 7 a.m. on May 17, ending at noon.

Main speaker at the closing ceremony at noon on May 17 will be Kenneth Bakewell, brother of Ronald C. Bakewell of East Millsboro, who was killed in action in 1968. Bakewell has spoken about the loss of his brother in the past, according to Glenn Nielsen, president and committee chairman.

This is the 29th consecutive year for the vigil, which began in 1985, according to Nielsen. In 1984, the AMVETS Post 103 gave the group a 99-year lease. The funds were raised and the memorial was completed in 1986.

Nielsen said the group lost its former president, Frank Voytek, to cancer in December.

Nielsen is asking county residents to attend the two-day service honoring the fallen so that they will never be forgotten.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 724-626-3538.

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