It is with great pleasure & anticipation that Friends of the Forgotten NEPA Wing Pa. announce that the memorial to the first American military woman & nurse to be killed during the Vietnam War, 2nd Lt Carol Ann Drazba RN, will be placed on the corner of Mulberry & Franklin St. at the Gino Merli Veterans Center, Department of Military & Veterans Affairs. A Grant & check presentation by the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority or LHVA was presented on 1/4/12 for $10,000 which completes payment for the Memorial and wall. On going efforts for memorial engraved pavers continues to defer cost of maintaince & building costs. All funds have been raised through the efforts of Friends of the Forgotten. The parcel of land donated by the Gino Merli center boasts a park like setting amongst trees, a courtyard for reflection, a Gazebo & a picturesque view of Carol as you enter & exit the city of Scranton. It is estimated that 3-4 thousand people daily will view her. The foreground will be lined with the donated pavers; a black granite wall reminiscent of the Vietnam Wall in DC will stand behind her telling the ill fated story of the event & the faces of the 7 souls lost that day. Two black granite benches stand astride her. One donated by the Dunmore Class of 1961 honoring the 4 men from Dunmore who gave their lives in Vietnam; the second bench donated by the Friends of the Forgotten & Parise Monuments. This ground is “sacred” in that it is the former site of the Scranton State General Hospital where Carol trained as a nursing student. She will be “Home,” where she can forever watch over her patients & veterans.
A small original beam of the SSGH building has also been left on this site & will be incorporated into the foreground design of the monument.
A ceremonial ground breaking was also held at the site on Mulberry & Franklin St. the same day. In attendance were several members of the Friends of the Forgotten, Joanne Drazba Katula, (Carol’s sister), Anne Domin, RN, friend & Nursing classmate of Carol Drazba, former Mayor of Scranton & Vietnam Veteran, Mr. David Wenzel, Pa. Representative Kevin Murphy & Chief of Staff Mr. Thomas Tell, High school friend Phil Costanzo, Gold Star Father Mike Argonish, Tom Snyder Hallstead American Legion District 15th Commander, Alan Bielecki of the Hallstead American Legion, Jerry Snyder of the Gino Merli Center & Legion Riders Post 665, LHVA Executive Director Natalie Gelb, Vice Chairman of the Board LHVA Robert Savakinus, Jeff Parise of Parise Monuments and Former County Commissioner Mike Washo.
The unveiling & dedication will be June 16th 2012.