As America looks back on the Vietnam era, no town in America will have deeper memories of its sacrifices than the city of McKeesport and its school district. As truly evidenced by its socio economic profile, it is an epicenter and microcosm that magnifies the most controversial time in American history.
During the Vietnam Era and principally the 5 year period from 1965 to roughly 1971, 24 members of the McKeesport Community made the ultimate sacrifice by surrendering their futures and their lives for an “American Cause.” 11 would be from Sam LaRosa’s McKeesport Boys Club. On November 11, Veterans Day 1966, Mr. LaRosa, Club Founder and Executive Director, dedicated a simple granite Veterans monument to “honor his boys.” According to the Vietnam Veterans Association of America in Silver Springs, Maryland It is one of the first four monuments established in our nation’s history that recognizes the contribution of our Vietnam heroes.
In Mr. LaRosa’s 36 year tradition of holding annual consecutive Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day Services, the LaRosa Club Board and staff has continued to carry on this tradition past Mr. LaRosa’s death in October 2003. This 50 year tradition of unbroken heritage has been continued through the present.
A PDF of an excerpt from Sean Yager’s 2004 senior thesis, titled “How McKeesport Got to Vietnam,”can be viewed and downloaded here.