Plans have been drawn up to erect a granite monument at Sid Goldstein Freedom Park in Westminster to honor South Vietnamese officers and soldiers who killed themselves on April 30, 1975, the day communist forces captured Saigon, it was reported Thursday.
Heroes monument will be erected in a park that is already home to the Vietnam War Memorial, the Orange County Register reported.
The new monument is part of an overall goal to “tell the complete history of the Vietnam War,” Lam Nguyen, the architect for the panel, who also designed the War Memorial, told the newspaper.
“Most Vietnamese know about these men because we admire them,” said Nguyen, who didn’t escape Saigon until the day it fell. “They showed they aren’t afraid of death.”
The Heroes Monument will be a 10-foot high by 8-foot wide granite panel on concrete, according to city documents cited by the register. The centerpiece will be photos of the six officers who committed suicide on the day of Saigon’s capture, with descriptions of each mounted on black granite or marble, Nguyen said.
The officers were Gens. Nguyen Khoa Nam, Tran Van Hai, Le Nguyen Vy, Le Van Hung and Pham Van Phu, and Lt. Col. Nguyen Van Long.
At the bottom of the monument, he added, will be the names of 40 other South Vietnamese servicemen who killed themselves. Many more committed suicide, Nguyen said, but these are the names in possession of veterans organizations.
The coalition of the Republic of Vietnam Veteran Associations in Southern California is covering the monument’s $60,000 cost, the Register reported.
—City News Service
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