New Vietnam Memorial dedicated at Mills Park
Three dozen people were on hand Sunday for the dedication of the new Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Mills Park.
The landscaped plot at the east end of the park off Seely Loop has a flag pole and a plaque bearing the names of the 18 men from Nevada who were listed as missing in action – or prisoners of war – in Vietnam.
Ten of those men remain missing in action. Since 1991, when the original memorial was dedicated, the remains of eight of those men have been returned to their families.
Members of Carson City’s Chapter 388 of the Vietnam Veterans of America spent more than a year raising money and drawing the plans for the improved memorial, which now sits 25-feet west of its original spot.
“Back in October of 2000 the Board of Supervisors approved a plan for the east end of Mills Park and part of that plan was the location and the upgrade of this memorial,” said Vern Krahn, Carson City Parks Department planner. “This has been a special project for me. It’s a way for me to show my patriotism. I was really looking forward to not only seeing this thing become a reality but to all you folks coming out.”
Boy Scouts from Washoe Valley Troop 150 were on hand to retire the old flags and hoist the new ones.
On the urging of Chapter president Jim Weller, Mayor Ray Masayko addressed the crowd.
“Thank you very much to the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 338 for their vision and for their hard work. This is a fitting memorial for our Vietnam Veterans from this area, we are very proud as Carson City to be a part of it,” he said. “This will be here a long time as we think it’s very important that future generations recognize what happened in that war.”
Weller said the memorial isn’t quite complete. His biggest hope is to erect a wall listing Nevadans killed in Vietnam.
“There are 144 killed in action from Nevada, including seven from right here in Carson City,” he said.
With fund-raisers and donations, Weller hopes to accomplish that goal.
As he ended the dedication, he reminded everyone of today’s military personnel.
“I want to remember those vets who gave their lives in all wars, particularly those who were in the Vietnam War, but we also must reflect the current military personnel who are about to go in harms way. Say a prayer for those people if you would.”