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La Crosse park board reviews Vietnam monument for Freedom Park

Brad Williams

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Soldier statues, a wall of names, and a group of flags are planned for a Vietnam veterans memorial in a popular La Crosse park. 

Proposals for the Vietnam display planned for Veterans Freedom Park were discussed Thursday night by the city park board. 

There was discussion of one sticking point in the plans: the eight tall flagpoles proposed on the site, compared to other monuments in the park which don’t have flags. 

“With flags and lighting for the Vietnam memorial, and nothing with the other four (monuments), I’m afraid that it’s gonna diminish the importance and maybe the value that the other four memorials have,” said park department staffer Dan Trussoni.

Other memorials in the park include ones to Hmong and Lao veterans who served in Vietnam, a World War One doughboy, and female cadet nurses from World War Two. 

Local VFW member and Vietnam vet Stan Roellich doesn’t think the new display would overshadow monuments to other wars.

“We don’t want to overshadow anybody,” said Roellich. “We were not treated well, as you may recall, and we don’t want anybody else to feel left out, either.”

The plans call for a 25-foot pole for the U.S. flag, and 20-foot poles for the others. 

Planners hope to dedicate the Vietnam monument in July or August of next year. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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