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Vietnam veteran monument now on display at Lake Wichita Park

The hope is that this will be seen for generations to come.
After five years of planning and progress, a monument honoring veterans was installed this week at Lake Wichita Park.
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 6:23 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - A project that has been in the works for over five years was installed this week at Lake Wichita Park and unveiled on Thursday. It is dedicated to Vietnam veterans.

It was an emotional unveiling for many people who attended. Speakers highlighted the experiences of military families and the hardships they face, but through it all, each one said the same thing: thank you.

“For those that are past, for those that are still with us we want to thank them for their service,” Kimberly Florsheim, co-chair of the Vietnam 50th Commemoration Committee said.

It has been more than five years since the initial plans of building this statue began, but now the wait is over. It will permanently be on display at Lake Wichita Park. This location was chosen for a special purpose.

“We have this place out here at Lake Wichita Park, it is beautiful, peaceful, serine,” Florsheim said. “Those that come here to heal and reflect on their times of service we hope they will.”

“Raising money and trying to eventually get the monument out in the public, was very near and dear to my heart because my dad served in Vietnam,” Sonja Gandy, Chapter Regent for the Daughters of American Revolution said.

This also meant a lot to the women of the local Daughters of American Revolution Chapter. Many of them had husbands who served and thanks to a group effort, they can now honor them all.

“Just this collective effort, the chapter, the community, a number of veterans groups that we have gotten to know personally,” Florsheim said. “To really just see it become a reality and now it is here is just amazing.”

Veterans of the Vietnam War did not receive the warmest welcome when they returned to America, but gestures like these give them the respect they deserve.

“My dad and so many others when they returned home were told not to wear their uniforms,” Gandy said. “So today is a day that north Texas and southern Oklahoma comes together and we have a place to thank our veterans.”

The hope is that this monument will be a conversation starter about the men and women who died for our country for generations to come.

“This is now a place where I can bring my grandchildren and hopefully will be passed down from generation to generation the true meaning of, not just this monument, but all the monuments to our Vietnam veterans,” Gandy said.

Organizers wanted to thank the community for their support and donations that helped make this dream become a reality.

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