BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)— Friday, the names of six Virginia Tech alumni were added to the school’s Pylons at the War Memorial.
A ceremony was held to honor five men who died during the Vietnam War era and a sixth who died during an October training exercise.
Those remembered are Tech Sgt. Peter Kraines of the Class of 2010, Sgt. William E. Hawkins of the Class of 1971, Maj. Norman R. Hurst of the Class of 1952, Spc. Fletcher L. Lewis of the Class of 1965, Lt. J.G. William L. Sloop of the Class of 1967, and 2nd Lt. Jerry W. Smith of the Class of 1972.
One by one, family members and friends took turns telling the crowd at the ceremony about their loved one and how much they loved serving their country.
The five men from the Vietnam War era were added after the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and Virginia Tech Alumni Association called for servicemen and women whose names were not on the Pylons.
Etched on the Pylons are the names of the students and alumni who died serving our country.
“What I hope is when people come here to Virginia Tech and they visit the War Memorial Plaza and they see these Pylons that they understand what they truly represent and are also grateful for all of those who continue to serve in our armed forces today,” said Major General Randal Fullhart.
The last name added to the Pylons was the 432nd, and also the first woman. U.S. Navy Ensign Sarah Mitchell was from the Class of 2017. She died during a training exercise in 2018.
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