The black granite used in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., was supplied by a family firm along the Lincoln Highway in Lynwood, Illinois, south of Chicago. According to a recent article in The Times of Munster, Indiana, Rogan Granite (21550 E Lincoln Hwy/US 30, about 1000 feet west of the Indiana border) supplied the granite that carries the names of 58,256 veterans who either died in Vietnam or are listed as prisoners of war or missing in action. Tom Rogan says, “It was a very proud moment for our company and our family…. It was an opportunity for us to show what the region could do in support of our veterans.” The company, with roots back to 1874, was known as Calumet Memorial until 1980, when Tom and brothers Jim and Mick expanded the business.
The article recounts, “As part of the company’s headstone business, Rogan Granite supplied grave markers for veterans in several states. It was during a 1982 trip to Washington—to see which grave marker bids were successful—that Rogan learned of the plans for the memorial.” The bid required black granite because it could polish to a mirrorlike reflective surface and allow etched names to show up as white. The granite actully came from India, was cut and polished in Vermont, and etched in Tennesse, but the Rogan family coordinated the process of providing the 144 panels, each 44 inches wide each, that make up the two walls that are each 246 feet, 9 inches long. The memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day in 1982.
Photo Vietnam Memorial, The Wall, Washington D.C. by ehpien