In 1942 the Blue Star Mothers had a wooden WWII service wall built with the names of those that traveled overseas from the Belding, Michigan area. The wall was on the corner of Bridge St. and Main St. and was called the Belding Freedom Wall. In 1948 Gibson Manufacturing purchased the lot the wall was on so the wall was decommissioned with one last ceremony. In 2010 Denny Craycraft, a Belding resident and Vietnam War Veteran, started a massive effort to reconstruct it and bring back a piece of history. On Sunday, Veteran's Day, 2012, the reconstructed Belding Freedom Wall was revealed to people from all over. Many WWII Veterans in the area were praying they would see the Wall with their names on it before they passed away. Many did see the wall then passed shortly after. Denny had veterans and families of veterans from all over ask why not a monument of the other wars, the wars their spouses, sons, daughters and family members were in. Denny then took on the task of raising money for the WWI, Korean and Vietnam memorials. Denny, with the help of others, now have all the memorials almost completed. Whereas the memorials in this park honor local veterans, the Vietnam Memorial honors all 2,654 Michigan soldiers that were killed in Vietnam. To recognize the local Vietnam Veterans, there are 12 granite pillars that guide our guests to the Vietnam Wall. Each of those pillars have the name and face of one local soldier and the story of how each lost their life (5 veterans from Belding, 7 from Greenville). In the walkway going to the Vietnam Wall is a monument with the map of Vietnam on it. Many, many Vietnam veterans stop at this map and monument to point out on the map to loved ones where they were stationed and fought. Denny Craycraft is the person to contact for any further information as he has all the info with times, dates, etc. If you google Belding Veterans Park you can read different articles and see different news programs from newspapers and television stations that have interviewed and highlighted the Belding Veterans Park.
Date of Installation:
November 11, 2012
Organization Responsible for Installation:
Memorial War Era(s):
Belding Veterans Park 100 Depot St. Belding, MI 48809
Published on March 15, 2019