MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Dabbing tears trickling from her eyes, Nell Hannah, the mother of one of the 50 names etched in front of her, looked up with gratitude at the memorial which contained her son’s name.
Hannah was just one of the scores of people who participated in the dedication of The Basic School Class 6-67 monument at TBS on April 25, 2014. Class 6-67 was the sixth class to graduate from TBS in 1967.
“This monument is dedicated to the 498 officers of Basic Class 6-67, and their families and friends, whose lives were changes forever by the war in Vietnam,” reads an inscription on the memorial. “Forty-three men from our class were killed in Vietnam, one man was killed in Lebanon, and six lost their lives in training. Over 200 members of our class were wounded in combat.”
Donnie Shearer, retired gunnery sergeant and photographer of the image that was used on the memorial, fought in Vietnam while capturing photos of the conflict. He shared his perspective on the lieutenants of the 6-67.
“So many were killed within three to four months,” said Shearer. “It was open season on lieutenants and platoon commanders. It was horrible. These are the Marines of the past.”
To honor the class, specifically those who paid the ultimate price, two years’ worth of work and more than 100 financial contributors produced a final product that sits along the TBS sidewalk for today’s lieutenants to see.
“And so this memorial, we dedicate here, honors our brothers who gave their lives for our country and our Corps,” said Father John Cregan, dedication speaker. “And they have become forever a part of the legacy of the United States Marine Corps, a legacy that simply reflects to this country and beyond all the best that is America.”
The memorial is adjacent to Lopez Hall at TBS.