It’s too bad a proposed new Vietnam War memorial that honors America’s South Vietnamese allies in that conflict has led to controversy and hard feelings. Some local vets strongly object to the proposal in Veterans Memorial Park, arguing that the space should be reserved for American soldiers. These feelings, if they reflect the views of most vets, can’t help but carry a lot of weight. But Vietnamese-Americans have also spoken with depth of feeling about the need for a fitting memorial, which they were denied in their country. These aren’t just “foreigners” who would be honored — they are America’s Vietnamese friends and allies who fought and died alongside U.S. soldiers.
Many of these veterans and their families now live in Wichita as American citizens. They have become a significant segment of our population, and this memorial would be a symbol of their assimilation and acceptance in Wichita.
Isn’t there some common ground here? The Wichita park board should try to find a dignified compromise that brings citizens together to honor a shared sacrifice.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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