The 27 names on the Vietnam War memorial outside Father Judge High School in Northeast Philadelphia serve as a reminder of how the war affected the Philadelphia region.
The Vietnam War, which began in 1957 and ended in 1975, claimed the lives of 650 men from the Philadelphia region. During the war, Father Judge High School, an all-boys Catholic school, lost 27 graduates–more than any other non-public school in the nation.
The fallen soldiers from Father Judge graduated between 1960 and 1968.
The monument sits in front of the main entrance to the high school on Solly and Rowland avenues and is a large granite stone in front of an American flag. There are inscriptions of the names and graduation years of the 27 young servicemen lost during the war. Above the names is a large engraving of Michelangelo’s “Pieta” and an inscription from St. John’s Gospel that reads, “Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
When we visited the monument, a freshly placed evergreen wreath and a glass-encased, burning red candle lay at the foot of the statue.