Friday, July 19, 2013

Nevada I

Nevada's Vietnam Memorial may be the most unusual one I have found to date. In many ways it is elegantly simple. It consists of several rocks with plaques bearing the names of the 151 lost and missing from the state. In addition, there are the usual flags and benches. It is in Mills Park in the capitol, Carson City. I had an unusually hard time finding it but was helped by a city employee who knew where it was. Probably the knee high snow complicated things, too!

What makes it unique is that it was built by a VVA group. That by itself may not be surprising. What is surprising is that this VVA Chapter was founded by the Nevada State Correctional Institution Warden and it members are inmates! The native stone that has been used in several buildings in the area was quarried near the prison and shaped and finished by the inmates. In the end it took three chapters of VVA to complete the project and two were made up of incarcerated vets. I have heard that 40% of the homeless are vets and I wonder what the percentage of those imprisoned might be?

Upon the stones are five plaques chronicling the lost and missing. Not surprisingly, '67, '68, and '69 bear the greatest numbers. '68, the year I was there, has the most with 49.

The memorial is located in the Northeast corner of Mills Park, 1111 East William Street, Carson City, NV.

Next time, we will visit Reno, the first memorial I saw in Nevada. Located in a small corner park it honors many. See the Vietnam components on July24th at 9:00am.

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