Remembering Those Who Fought in Vietnam Nearly 50 years after the conflict ended

SB 319 which dedicates a portion of State Capitol State Park to a Vietnam War memorial to be funded and constructed on the corner of Cottage and State Streets by a nonprofit corporation. Some think that it’s about time, nearly 50 years after the conflict ended and when many who fought are no longer with us.

Vietnam was a different kind of war. Though it was fought for the undeniably noble cause of stopping the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia, the left so demonized the war that the hatred and discrimination that was directed at those who risked and even gave their lives during the war has resulted in the shameful, decades-long delay of the memorialization of these brave soldiers.

Nancy Menagh, the National President of the Gold Star Wives of America, left these thoughts with the House Committee on Rules, as they considered this bill.

When my late husband, Captain Philip Menagh, USMC, returned from Vietnam, he faced much derision and disrespect. Even when we were stationed at Camp Pendleton in the 1970’s, I felt the animosity when we would go into town — with the tell-tale buzz cut, it was easy for anyone to spot a Marine.

My husband was killed on active duty in 1984, so he will not see this monument. But it will mean the world to me and to our children to see this monument come to fruition.For some, the monument need to memorialize not only the brave soldiers who fought to keep Southeast Asia free from Communist tyranny, but, to remember the victims of that conflict who were the Vietnamese people — called the “boat people” in their day — who fled the country in great numbers for the decades following the war.

The bill will likely pass on the floor of the House this week and be presented to Governor Brown for her signature.