On the tenth anniversary of their deaths, friends and family of the three got together for a memorial mass. After the service, they began to count the people from South Boston that had been killed in Vietnam. They came up with 25 names.
The families of the three men, remembered at the mass, were very thankful that their sons' friends still remembered and still cared. This started Tom and the others thinking. They wanted to do something for all the families of those that had died in the War.
They put together a plan and started raising money. Within a year, they had raised $45,000.
The South Boston Vietnam Veteran's Memorial sits in the M Street Park in South Boston, Massachusetts. Everyone listed on the monument had come to the park sometime during their childhood. It is thought to be the first Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in the country.
The idea for building the monument came while some friends had gathered to remember three of their friends who had been killed in 1968 while serving in Vietnam. It was the tenth anniversary of their deaths.
The three were part of a group of six friends that joined the military together. The surviving friends began to reminisce about other members of their community that had given their lives in Vietnam. By the time they were done, they had counted 25 fallen friends. In remembrance to their friends, they decided to build a memorial.
The memorial was built with funds raised from the community and $30,000 donated by the City of Boston. It was designed by Harry Carrol and dedicated on September 13, 1981.
The guest speaker at the dedication was James Webb, an officer Tom Lyons had met in Vietnam. Also, in attendance were the Governor, Mayor, a senator, a Congressman, and several military officials.
The Memorial is rededicated every fall. The Marine Corps Marching Band and Silent Drill team perform annually at the rededication.
These are the names inscribed on the memorial: