Several weeks ago I stood at the podium with Lan Jones, co-president of the American-Vietnamese War Memorial Alliance, dedicating Auburn’s joint American-Vietnamese Memorial at Les Gove Park.
I know when the Auburn Reporter article came out some of you were upset. The newspaper meant no disrespect. They featured an article covering the American-Vietnamese side of it and not much was said about the American Vietnam veterans. But the Vietnam veterans groups and their families were there alongside the Vietnamese-American veterans groups and their families.
We all worked together for 10 years to build this monument.
This turned out to be a private monument built on city land. A monument for the Vietnam veterans built by the Vietnam veterans for all of us. It was built to remember all who died there, for all of us who returned and all of the families.
It doesn’t matter who was mentioned in a newspaper article and who wasn’t. Heck, I wasn’t mentioned either. This is about a monument for all of us that finally says “welcome home.”
– Pete Lewis, former mayor and veteran