Vet group gets first look at Vietnam War memorial
by Shane Miller
Feb 22, 2017 | 3451 views | 0 0 comments | 181 181 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Representatives from a veterans group got their first look at the preliminary designs for a planned memorial to the 420 Queens residents who were killed in the Vietnam War.

Members of Chapter 32 of the Vietnam Veterans of America met with the Parks Department at Borough Hall earlier this month to review the department's early ideas.

Chapter president Michael O'Kane said they were impressed with the initial design.

“With a couple of minor changes, what we saw is going to be really, really beautiful,” he said.

O'Kane said he would be presenting the design to the full Chapter 32 membership at the group's next meeting.

“But we're not going to nitpick this thing to death,” he said.

One change O'Kane would like to see, though, is prominently incorporating Pat Toro's name on the memorial. Toro was the former president of Chapter 32 who died in 2014 due to complications from exposure to Agent Orange during the war.

During his tenure, he advocated strongly for a permanent Vietnam War memorial in the borough.

The memorial will eventually be erected in Elmhurst Park near the Grand Avenue entrance, although there is no definite timeline yet.

O'Kane is sightly concerned that active uses of the park will spill over into the memorial site, but hopes that issue can be mitigated if it arises.

“It should be a place where families can go and reflect,” he said.
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