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Vietnam War Monument neglected, veterans looking for new location

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Updated: 2/12 11:39 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Vietnam War Monument sits forgotten in the shadow of the abandoned county courthouse.

Local veterans said the marker is as neglected as the building itself.

"What's a little bit of maintenance once a week?" said Vietnam veteran Les Bertrand.

Bertrand said requests to Public Works to clean the area went unanswered so he took action.

"We had five or six guys out here working with lawnmowers, shovels, rakes and hoes. We got rid of all the old shrubs and covered all the old grass and everything," he said.

Action News obtained pictures taken before the cleanup, showing the monument buried between overgrown plants. How it looked after the cleanup didn't remain when we showed up Wednesday. Trash continues to be a problem.

"When those complaints were made last year, within two days, a previously scheduled Public Works cleanup was made there," said Jacksonville spokesman David DeCamp.

Veterans want the monument moved to a more prominent location. We’ve learned of two possible options. Evergreen Cemetery has offered to maintain and house it at no cost to the taxpayers. The Veterans Memorial Wall is also being considered, but it's not the city's No. 1 choice.

"The Veterans Memorial Wall already represents the veterans of Vietnam but also other wars of World War I, so we want to be respectful of that location, too," said DeCamp.

Because the monument is currently at the old courthouse, some said it would only make sense to move it to the new courthouse. Action News has learned that option isn't even on the table.

The Public Works Department is now examining what steps must be taken to safely move the monument and the flame.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

lingt - 3/23/2014 6:25 PM
0 Votes
Don't be so sure that Evergreens offer is not a "REVENUE" maker for the cemetery. They have complained that services held at any Veteran Memorial cuts into their revenue according to "Someone in The Know". They are probably seeing dollar signs. The statement that it will not cost taxpayers should also include no cost to Veterans for services.

king kaos - 2/13/2014 9:16 AM
0 Votes
This is a total travesty and is an excellent indicator of how this government feels abouts OUR Veterans. I feel terrible that this is happening and my appologies to Mr. Betrand and ALL OTHER VETS out there. Are we this horrible Jax? Does it matter more to us to have some nonsense street something or other OVER a TRIBUTE to the men and women that both served and are serving this country and protecting US and OUR freedoms every day? I hang my head in shame and disgust today people. If the city is dragging thier heels on this, why dont we do something to take care of it ourselves? Mr. Bertrand, please follow up and let us know where we can come to help or set up a crowd sourced fund to move this or at minimum keep it clean. Jax, this is unacceptable... we are the greatest city in this state EASILY and maybe even the country BECAUSE of the strong militart presence here. Lets get behind these folks and get this taken care of IMMEDIATELY if not sooner. Again to all the vets, my deepest appologies; we LOVE and APPRECIATE EVERYTHING you have given for us. Without you I couldnt be on here ranting about "my feelings" or having the chance to succed in life, based on nothing more than my FREE-WILL too and the abundant opportunities that come from the FREE WILL of others.

mountaintroll - 2/13/2014 9:03 AM
0 Votes
God and the soldier all men adore, in time of trouble and not before. When danger's past and the wrongs are righted, God is forgotten and the solder slighted.

GUS11 - 2/13/2014 6:41 AM
0 Votes
Our Vietnam Vets were never welcomed home, and thier monuments are left at abandoned buildings. That is totally unacceptable. If you move to a new building, you move the monument before anything else is moved. Thats typical Duval County. They only care about whoever has money. To all Vietnam vets, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, and to those who never came home...I wont forget you, and God Bless all of you.

wishmistress - 2/13/2014 2:54 AM
0 Votes
Despicable! What a thoughtful gesture on the part of Evergreen, though. Sounds like a good choice, no?

Dremwolf - 2/12/2014 11:57 PM
0 Votes
I thought there already was a plan in place to move it to the new courthouse, what happened to that??
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