from PA State Rep Todd Stephens (93)
Joseph Park was born on Aug. 31, 1946, lived in Horsham, was an Eagle Scout and attended Hatboro-Horsham High School and Valley Forge Military Academy. After attending classes at Penn State University, he was deployed to Vietnam where on March 28, 1968, he died from a hostile gunshot wound. He was 21 years old.
He was awarded the Purple Heart, the National Defense Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Service Medal. He is buried in Horsham Friends Cemetery. He is also one of more than 58,000 people who lost their lives in this conflict who have been memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Lt Park's name is listed on Panel 46E,58. (more at www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/39430/JOSEPH-C-PARK-JR)
To remember his sacrifice, the section of Route 611, between Maple Avenue and Meetinghouse Road, will be designated the Lt. Joseph C. Park II Memorial Highway.
The dedication ceremony took place on Thursday, April 30, at 10 a.m. at Horsham Friends Meetinghouse, 500 Easton Road in Horsham.
This was introduced by Rep Stephens in 2014 and signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett.
This is a major step toward recognizing the sacrifice of men like Joseph C. Park. People who use this section of Route 611 will be reminded of a young, local man who bravely served in Vietnam, and gave his life in the defense of freedom.
Joseph C. Park was born and raised in Horsham Township, Pennsylvania, where he attended Hatboro-Horsham Junior High School, and then Valley Forge Military Academy. (He was the son of Mary Park and the brother of Carol DiJoseph, both long-time supporters of HPHA).
In April 1966, Joseph was drafted into the United States Army. He completed nearly two years of training including infantry school, armored school and ranger school before being deployed to Vietnam. Joseph completed almost every phase of combat training the Army offered. During this time, Joseph was promoted to second lieutenant.
Park was ultimately assigned to Company C, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade, where he was also promoted to first lieutenant.
Park was serving as a platoon leader on a search-and-destroy operation in the vicinity of An Phu when they encountered the Viet Cong force. Park immediately moved to an open area where he could place effective fire upon the enemy. Only 16 days after leaving the United States for Vietnam, Park was killed in action on March 28, 1968.
His heroic actions allowed the remainder of the platoon to take cover, preventing the platoon from sustaining further casualties.
“My hope is this designation will stand as a reminder to future generations of the sacrifices made by men and women like Lieutenant Joseph Park,” Stephens said. “It will also stand as a sign of our appreciation for his love of county and sense of duty.”
Additional information from PA House Republican Caucus Web Site (94).