The long awaited Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Elmhurst Park is closing in on its fundraising goal. The Queens Chronicle reported on March 10 that “the group [Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32] hopes to raise enough money through fundraising, scheduled to be completed by June 30.”
Unfortunately, the vets have come up against an unexpected problem. They would like to see a rifle depicted on the monument, but the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation has rejected that proposal, stating that a rifle cannot be displayed if city money is being used. “If you look around, there is rifle representation everywhere,” VVA Chapter 32 Director Michael O’Kane told the newspaper. “The M-16 rifle is emblematic of Vietnam.” There are also rifles on many other memorials throughout the city.