The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

March 24, 2013

Decision to enhance plans for memorial wall the right choice

Do it right. First-class setting.

Those terms were used by leaders of the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Project on how they want the memorial being put on permanent display at Enid Woodring Regional Airport to be.

The original goal was to have the Vietnam Memorial Wall, purchased in November, set up on Memorial Day. However, that’s not going to happen.

Groundbreaking for the project was delayed because of concerns about proper placement of the wall among a series of buried utility lines, as well as design changes and enhancements. Among the changes, organizers decided instead of just a concrete pad, concrete wall and berm, the memorial will be elevated with ADA-compliant ramps, and include sideways, steps, lighting and a pavilion.

Those changes will give the memorial the “first-class setting” it deserves, to use the words of Dan Ohnesorge, co-chairman of the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall Project and former vice wing commander at Vance Air Force Base.

We couldn’t agree more. The memorial deserves a first-class setting, one that is fitting to what it stands for.

The goal now is to dedicate the wall on Veterans Day.

The wall will become a draw for Enid. The Vietnam War remains an emotional period for veterans and their families. Many people aren’t able to go to Washington, D.C., to see the original memorial. However, they could travel to Enid to see the 80 percent replica.

Organizers still need to raise some $28,000 to finish fundraising for the project. Donations can be mailed to Vietnam Memorial Wall Project, c/o Security National Bank, P.O. Box 1272, Enid, OK 73702, or in person at any SNB branch. All donations are tax-deductible.

Donations in kind of labor and materials also are being accepted by calling Elaine Johns, Woodring Wall of Honor executive director, at the Wall of Honor office, 233-4530.

Enid has supported this project from the beginning, and we know the end result will be better than expected.

It will be first-class.

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