A veteran proposes a new monument to the natural park | Local News
Carey “CT” Christie has a few requests from Elizabethtown City Council.
The U.S. military and the Vietnam War veteran on Monday asked the council for help with the maintenance of the replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Elizabethtown Nature Park.
“When we get old and die, we won’t be there every day to help people,” he said. “You need people to help you. “
The memorial is an 80% scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. The Veterans Tribute Group signed a contract with the city in March 2017 for the wall, which is being built near the Hardin County Veterans Tribute in the park. The wall was inaugurated in April 2018.
Christie, along with other veterans, performs regular maintenance on the wall and grounds of the natural park, including calling the memorial maker for repairs, picking up trash, picking up memorabilia and flowers left at the site. and cleaning up the monument.
Christie brought to council’s attention several street lights in need of repair at the site and requested that they be fixed.
“I think we can fix everything by working together,” he said.
Veterans also regularly act as tour guides, helping visitors locate names using the kiosk and speaking with guests and other veterans when they show up at the wall, Christie said.
“You have the best healing wall in the United States,” he said. “You have more people coming from all over the world to see this memorial.”
But while Christie considers the wall the best in the country, he still wants to improve the experience for veterans, especially those from the Vietnamese era.
In her presentation, Christie said the Veterans Tribute Group raised enough money to install a replica helicopter as the final memorial at the site.
“I would like you to give me permission to put a huey over there,” he said. “And we all agree that there shouldn’t be any other monuments because it’s a natural park and we have enough tributes there. But adding to the Vietnam Memorial Wall with a huey will put our memorial above any other in the United States. “
Christie said the money for the replica of the helicopter, which would be a tribute to the medical evacuation units that saved so many lives during the Vietnam War, is already available and can be finished by Memorial Day. .
Plans are being developed and the 15-foot model helicopter, which will not be operational, will rest on a 12-foot-high round pedestal surrounded by a fence to the right of the memorial wall, Christie said. The installation of the project will cost the city only the workers’ lunch, he said.
City Councilor Marty Fulkerson said he was concerned about yet another monument that breaks the serenity that comes with the natural park.
“I just like the quiet,” he said. “It’s just that this wall brings him home.”
The park also features an eagle at the entrance to the park, a memorial to the working dogs of war and the wall.
“It’s the last thing we want to do. That’s it – the huey, ”Christie said. “Everyone you know who has a purple heart, a huey saved their lives. This wall would be 15 times bigger if it weren’t for the Huey helicopter.
City Councilor Virgil Willoughby asked about other groups of veterans who wanted monuments depicting their conflict in the park.
“What do we say to others who have fought in recent wars when they approach the council to ask them for any equipment they would like to see in the natural park? ” He asked. “It’s a beautiful park, but at the end of the day it’s a natural park with the healing wall.”
Christie said that although the Memorial Wall is based on Vietnam’s history, soldiers and families from all conflicts and wars come to the wall to reflect and heal.
“Many of them realize that their units are all on this Vietnamese wall, even though they served in another conflict,” he said. “Many of them feel that our wall represents both their unity and their conflicts. It gives other veterans of other wars a place to reflect and reflect.
“Our wall is probably the only one in the country to have the serenity and peaceful environment it offers,” he added.
Mayor Jeff Gregory said in an interview following the meeting that he expects to give council a few weeks to consider Christie’s request.
“I wanted to give them time to be able to process everything they took on Monday night at the meeting,” he said.
Gina Clear can be contacted at 270-505-1418 or [email protected]