A dedication ceremony for the Joint American-Vietnamese War Memorial is 11 a.m. Saturday, June 16 at Les Grove Park, 910 Ninth St. SE, Auburn.
All are welcomed to the event to observe, to learn, and participate.
Mayor Nancy Backus; Alfie Alvarado Ramos, director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs; and a representative of the Pentagon’s 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration project have been invited to speak.
The Vietnamese-American War Memorial Alliance project, which began more than 10 years ago to honor the sacrifices of Americans and Vietnamese soldiers, has been completed. The project’s vision grew from a local veteran’s effort to inclusiveness of all the other allied forces and the thousands of Canadian volunteers who joined the U.S. Military to support the Vietnamese, making Auburn’s memorial unique.
The City of Auburn provided land for the memorial. The alliance raised the money and built the memorial.
The memorial’s central display features the yellow, red, and green emblem for Vietnam War veterans, an image of the Mourning Soldier, and inscriptions in English and Vietnamese. Granite panels honor American and South Vietnamese military. The memorial permanently displays the U.S. flag and the former Republic of Vietnam flag, also known as the Vietnamese Heritage and Freedom flag. Individual granite tiles on the Wall of Honor recognize individual Vietnam War veterans, living and dead.
The success of the project was with the hard work and dedication of City staff, and veterans from South Vietnam and the United States.
According to project leaders, one of the memorial’s goals is to tell a more accurate history from those who were there; another is to provide an understanding of what freedom is and its costs for future generations. But for now, the honoring of the veterans and their sacrifices is center stage for the dedication ceremony, they said.
Construction on the memorial began March 12.
The alliance is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization.
Learn more at HonorVietnamVets.org.