I am re-printing Rhonda Holman’s pretty fine post Tear down that berm which appeared at TBTSNBN. The editorial deals with the controversy of seperating the “Vietnamese-American community’s memorial” from the “Veterans Memorial Park” by an earthen berm. The story caught the attention of the New York Times. It is always nice when Wichita gets on the national radar in these ways.
Totally unrelated: I have often wondered if Rhonda is a Mennonite and a pacifist. Given that her hometown is Halstead, KS, that is not a huge leap; and the content of her opinion pieces have also made me wonder about Rhonda’s possible Anabaptist roots.
Any way, the post:
Tear down that berm?
In the end last month, the Wichita City Council voted 7-0 to place the Vietnamese-American community’s memorial near but not in Veterans Memorial Park, separated by an earthen berm and the lack of a sidewalk between them. The issue caught the attention of the New York Times, which published an article about the memorial dispute. Among the Times’ quotes:
“How could people now separate us with a wall? Why the need?” asked Nga Vu, whose brother died in Vietnam War.
“This doesn’t have anything to do with being Vietnamese,” said John Wilson, a U.S. Army veteran. “This is about serving in the American military. That’s it.”
“This has divided us, our American community, and we don’t want to make this a thing that will divide us,” said the Rev. Kenny Khanh Nguyen. “But I hope that it will look silly to our children and grandchildren. I hope that the next generation will take down that berm. And I hope that the relationship can heal later on.”
This was just a thought experiment for me, how would our posters differ from those folk over there. Please “no-cheating”: post first, and look over there second.
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Thank you, all. iggy donnelly