Vietnam memorial stones to move to Mills Park on Friday
The Vietnam Memorial at Mills Park is getting a new look, with the landscaping removed to make way for five huge blocks of hand-carved sandstone from the Nevada State Prison quarry.
Staggered just south of the flagpole, four will bear the names of 151 Nevadans who died in the Vietnam War.
The fifth, a stone bench, will face the group. Ranging in height from five feet to two feet, the stones will stand on a concrete platform, the names cast in bronze on five plaques.
Each stone weighs a ton or more and their placement is set for Friday, said Jim Weller, president of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 388 in Carson City.
He said this memorial offers recognition and a level of closure.
“This is the Nevada Wall. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the state and that’s fitting. Carson City is the capital,” he said. “There will never be complete closure for those families who lost a loved one, but this memorial can offer some.”
He said the old memorial was constructed at Mills Park about 10 years ago. The plaque included names of those missing in action. The remains of many of those have been found and the new plaque will reflect that, naming them as killed in action. The old plaque will remain with the memorial, so some will be listed twice.
Dedicated about a year ago, the memorial was created through the combined efforts of the Department of Corrections, Carson City’s Parks and Recreation, the City Road Department and several veterans groups.
Vietnam Veterans Chapter 719 at Stewart Conservation Camp provided the labor to set the rocks. Members of Chapter 545 at the Nevada State Prison carved the stone. Made up of residents from four counties, Carson City’s Vietnam Veterans Chapter helped to organize the project.
“The veterans approached us with the idea, then Carson City’s Parks and Recreation Department developed artist’s sketches,” said Vern Krahn, park planner with the department. “We selected the stones and employees from the street department, on their day off, moved the rocks to the prison where they were carved.”
Nevada State Prison Warden Mike Budge said the plaques are being engraved at the Washoe County Detention Center. No date has been set for placement of the plaques, but Weller hopes they’re completed by Nov. 11, when the memorial’s dedication is scheduled.