Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial to open next Friday
by Shane Miller
Dec 12, 2019 | 10969 views | 0 0 comments | 311 311 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A worker puts the finishing touches on the memorial a week before its opening.
A worker puts the finishing touches on the memorial a week before its opening.
An artist's rendering of the new memorial.
An artist's rendering of the new memorial.
The Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial will officially open to the public next Friday.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in Elmhurst Park at the corner of Grand Avenue and 79th Street at 10 a.m.

The $2.85 million memorial will feature the names of the 371 service members from the borough who died during the war or served and are classified as “missing in action.”

A staunch advocate of the memorial was former Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32 president Pat Toro. Toro passed away in 2014 - four years before a groundbreaking for the memorial - from complications related to exposure to Agent Orange during the war.

An additional plaque at the memorial will contain the names of service members who, like Toro, passed away from illnesses related to their time overseas.

At the groundbreaking ceremony last year, fellow Vietnam veteran Michael O’Kane recalled visiting Toro in the hospital several times before his death.

“One of the last things he said to me was in regard to this memorial. ‘Get it done,’ he said,” recalled O’Kane, who will be at the December 20th ceremony. “This was literally his dying wish.”

Some other features of the memorial are a timeline of significant events in the war and the engravings of the five crests of the military and the Vietnam Service Medal.

Borough President Melinda Katz actually allocated funding for the project over a decade ago while she was still a member of the City Council, but the project was plagued by bureaucratic delays.

Nearly 59,000 veterans live in Queens, the most among the five boroughs.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet