A new display cabinet in the main hall at Austintown Fitch is turning the heads of students. The case contains the stories and photos of two brave young men from the Class of 1962 who were killed in Vietnam.
''The main reason we put it in the main hall is we wanted the students at Fitch to know what former students have done for this country,'' said Jack Kidd, Class of 1962.
Kidd, along with classmate Larry Cadman, came together over a year ago to raise funds to build a memorial tribute to Sgt. James Prommersberger and 2nd Lt. Charles Brown, who both performed acts of bravery and gave their lives to save others during the Vietnam War. The memorial was completed last year at the south end of the football field.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Fitch senior Alexa Hripko and junior Sydney Zebrasky check out the new display case in the main hall of the school that honors two hero's from the Fitch Class of 1962.
With the large number of donations that came in, the two men decided to do something inside the school to let students know the legacy of the former Fitch graduates. That display is now coming together with the first piece, the cabinet, now in place.
Inside the cabinet are Brown and Prommersberger's stories along with graduation and military photos of each. Also framed is the Silver Star both men received in honor of their sacrifice.
The display case is valued at over $13,000 according to Kidd. Baird Brothers Saw Mill provided the wood at half price.
Over the next few week's more will be added to the display, including Brown's medals that were issued following his death in action. Kidd said Brown had received several medals including the Vietnamese Medal of Honor.
''Lt. Brown is the most decorated Fitch graduate ever,'' Kidd said.
Yet to be installed in the display will be an interactive video on the two men. It will have a floor mat that turns on the video any time a student stops by to view the display. Kidd said Gina Cardillo from Fitch Channel 19 is presently working on that.
Kidd and Cadman plan on having a dedication within a month that will include former Fitch veterans. Cadman also mentioned the excess funds raised from the memorial tributes will be used to offer a scholarship to Fitch graduates.
''[Prommersberger and Brown's] legacy will now help other students advance their education,'' Cadman said.
Fitch Principal Chris Berni said the display is a welcomed addition to the main hall.
''It is incredible,'' he said. ''It provides the legacy of students that went to Fitch who had an impact on society.''