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Plans for Vietnam vet monument move ahead at Freedom Park

Brad Williams

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Everybody’s on board.  That’s what one member of the La Crosse park board is saying about the plans for a new display at Veterans Freedom Park on Clinton Street. 

Todd Olson of the park board says he spoke with local Vietnam veterans from the American Legion Riders Association, who were worried that the design for a memorial was being changed without their approval. 

For example, Olson says the vets wondered if flagpoles were removed from the design.

“They were not deleted from the proposal in November, and the lighting was not deleted from the proposal” said Olson. “They just were not approved because we had to come to an agreement on where the placement was, and all the trenching and the electrical and everything. We didn’t have all the answers we needed, so we could not approve them at that time.”

Back in November, the board discussed the height of the proposed flagpoles, and debated whether the Vietnam monument might be too big and overshadow other memorials at the Freedom Park, which includes statues honoring World War I doughboys and Hmong-Lao veterans.  

Dan Trussoni from the park department says a design seen by the board three years ago was a rough concept, and not an actual blueprint to be voted on.    

Board members say the city supports the Vietnam monument and walkway which could be built later this year near the Black River.

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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