By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The nation marked the first Vietnam War Veterans Day Thursday. A focal point of Philadelphia’s ceremony was a new book on one school’s particular sacrifice.

Philadelphia’s Edison High School lost 64 alumni in the Vietnam War, more than any other school in the nation.

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Local author Richard Sand is about to publish a book entitled “Edison 64.”

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“These kids weren’t all drafted. Half of them went in becasue they couldn’t get a job. And as I was told, ‘Hey, I could get a paycheck and maybe get shot by the Viet Cong. Or I could not get a paycheck – it was during the Philadelphia gang wars – and get shot by the Valley gang,'” said Sand.

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Former State Supreme Court Justice Ron Castille was among those given an advance copy yesterday during ceremonies at Philadelphia’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Penn’s Landing. A portion of the book’s proceeds will go to the Memorial Fund.