News Columns & Blogs

NAACP backs veterans memorial

"As a veteran and the child of a military family with roots going back to the Korean War, I appreciate the service and the risks undertaken by the members of the South Vietnamese Army as they fought against the spread of communism," Kevin Myles, president of the Wichita branch of the NAACP, wrote in an open letter to the Wichita City Council supporting the proposal to add a Vietnamese community memorial to Veterans Memorial Park. "These men and women fought, bled and many died, alongside men like my father, in defense of the very ideals that we as Americans still hold dear. In honoring them, we honor ourselves."Myles noted that "there are nearly 8,000 Americans of Vietnamese origin, many of whom are veterans of the conflict, who are an integral part of our city," and he said that it "would send a tragic message were we to segregate our tributes by denying them space within the Veterans Memorial Park."The City Council decided to delay a decision until next month. Our editorial today noted how difficult this issue is, with heartfelt feelings on both sides, and expressed some hope that the council and the groups involved can find a way to honor all veterans.