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History of the Memorial:

In 2001, inspired by their teacher Thomas Dzicek the students of the Captain Nathan Hale Middle School decided not only to identify, but to find out more about each of the Connecticut servicemen who died in the Vietnam War. The project took one and a half Years and resulted in a book titled “612,” a listing and biography of every State Vietnam Veteran who died in the war. One of those patriots was Robert Tillquist, a Combat Medic and a Distinguished Service Cross recipient who died in the Pleiku Campaign on November 4, 1965. His sister, Jean Risley, of Coventry had become personally involved in their project. She was stirred by their effort but felt that a book should not be the final memory, and that a memorial needed to be created to honor these men, to thank them and to welcome them home.

She formed a group called the Connecticut Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee to raise money to establish a memorial to the 612 Connecticut men who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

While there had been a lot of support for a state memorial over the decades, most proposals failed to take hold. In July of 2006 the Committee started in earnest to contact various attorneys, accountants and Coventry Town officials to determine the best way to proceed. At a Town Council meeting she presented her thoughts, plans, and desires for a memorial. The Town Council gave their full support for the project and voted unanimously to provide a site for the memorial. The Town Manager then researched town lands and provided a list of possible choices. The final decision was made on March 13, 2007 to place Connecticut Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Veteran’s Memorial Green in Coventry.

Donation letters were sent to various Veterans’ Organizations, businesses in Coventry and the general public, including those that had lost someone dear in Vietnam. The support was overwhelming not only from those in Connecticut, but from other states as well. Fund Raisers; including a motorcycle run, dinners given by The American Legion Riders and the West Shore Middle School in Milford helped to raise enough funds to put a down payment on the memorial. As the year closed the site for the memorial was being prepared.

The ground breaking ceremony in August of 2007 was attended by many and the support continued to grow. It is hoped that this memorial will make the Veteran’s, Coventry and the State of Connecticut proud and remind future generations of their sacrifices. Jean Risley and the entire committee would like to once again thank everyone for their support and to welcome home our Vietnam Veterans.



The Memorial is shown below.

Copyright 2007 by [CVVM.ORG]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10/15/20 11:59 PM.