LEWISTON — Veterans of the Vietnam War will soon have their own memorial monument in Veterans Memorial Park.

An image of the proposed Vietnam War Memorial Monument that the L-A Veterans Council hopes to put in Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston by Veterans Day 2021. Submitted photo

Charles Paul of Norway, who served 25 months in Vietnam and has worked with the Lewiston Auburn Veterans Council for the past seven years, is leading the effort to place a granite monument in the park that overlooks the Great Falls between Lewiston and Auburn.

“I’ve traveled around to see what other veteran organizations have done in the state,” Paul said. “Lewiston-Auburn doesn’t have a Vietnam War memorial in the park. It’s time for me to turn my actions onto deeds.”

While not in the park, one of the three bridges that cross the Androscoggin River between the Twin Cities is dedicated to Vietnam Veterans. Both sides have a monument listing the names of 29 residents who died in Vietnam.

The proposed monument would be 22 inches wide, 12 inches thick, with the front 38 inches high and the back 48 inches high. The front of the marker will have the word “Vietnam War” with the years underneath. Below that will be a montage of the Vietnam War, showing helicopters, tanks and soldiers.

The top of the monument will be polished with the inscription, “For those who have served and fought for it, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.”

The L-A Veterans Council needs to raise $6,500. Paul hopes to have the memorial dedicated on Veterans Day 2021.

In the fundraising appeal, Paul and the L-A Veterans Council say, “Take your place in Lewiston/Auburn history and help us create a monument to honor the courage and commitment, traits that have always been with our military personnel. Help us create a lasting tribute to our men and women who served during one of America’s most controversial wars. Help us welcome home a group of veterans who did their job and received a nation’s scorn on their return.

Paul, who served in the Marines as a radio operator working with both ground and air units for more than two years from 1966 to 1968, will be at Veterans Park every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon starting Jan. 6 to seek donations and show a large poster with an image of the monument.

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