Who were the men and women who left Dearborn to serve in the armed services and lost their lives in the Vietnam War?
Dearborn author and Edsel Ford High School English teacher Lisa Lark dedicated two years of research to answering those questions, through more than 500 interviews with Vietnam veterans and the friends and families of the men and women on The Wall.
Lark will promote All They Left Behind: Legacies of the Men and Women on The Wall at the Allen Park Barnes & Noble at 6 p.m. Friday, where she'll be selling and signing copies of the book, as well as discussing her work.
The store is located at 3120 Fairlane Drive in Allen Park.
Lark's work started as a project with her students at Edsel Ford, but quickly became much larger.
“On Memorial Day 2010, I had my students write a letter to the family of a fallen soldier,” Lark said. “Some of the students asked if they can write to the family of the men who were from Edsel Ford who died. I didn’t know who these people were and my students kept asking questions about them. So I decided to do some research about them, and it expanded to researching about all of them.”
Lark's research resulted in the honoring of Dearborn's fallen Vietnam soldiers at the city's 2011 Memorial Day Parade. Then, it helped to bring The Wall That Heals—a Vietnam memorial replica—to Dearborn in October 2012.
All They Left Behind, published last month, is the latest piece of her work on the subject.
Published in commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the book reveals the personalities, histories and courage of the 61 Dearborn residents who gave their lives in service to our country during the Vietnam War.
A portion of the proceeds from the book benefits the Education Center at The Wall. Additionally, the Dearborn profiles will join thousands of others that will be featured at the forthcoming Educational Center.
Learn more at www.vvmf.org.