City Council Clears Up Confusion Over Proposed Veterans Memorial

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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The emails have come from not only Kansas, but from across the country.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my staunch opposition to the proposed placing of the Vietnamese memorial in our Veteran's Park," says one emailer. "This park has been dedicated to American veterans since its formation many years ago."

Another emailer facetiously writes, "I think the Vietnamese memorial is a great idea. It should be fun to watch those veterans who sacrificed their lives roll over in their graves. Stop the insanity, have some chops, and just say no."

Here's the deal: The Wichita City Council is slated to vote on a proposed plan to build a new monument at Veteran's Memorial Park that would honor and memorialize American soldiers and South Vietnamese soldiers who fought alongside American troops during the Vietnam War.

Some of the complaints have been downright racist, according to Council Member Jim Skelton.

"My first reaction is, I wonder if any of these people have ever been to this park," Skelton said Friday. "We not only have the Vietnamese flag representing a former ally, we have the Korean flag, a French flag, a British flag, and other flags of our allies here."

Council Member Janet Miller's reaction was the same:

"The memorial will honor and recognize and memorialize the 58,000 American citizens who lost their lives during that war and fought gallantly alongside the South Vietnamese soldiers in that country during that time," she said.

The city council will vote on the proposal June 9th. Skelton, who is himself a veteran, and Miller both plan to vote for the proposal. They say the monument will be very similar in nature to the Korean War monument that now stands at the site.

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