A group of Vietnam War veterans, dismayed by a lack of concern among many Utahns, has turned to the state for help in erecting a memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol.
Members of the Utah Vietnam-era Veterans Memorial Committee Corp. say they have spent three years contacting many large businesses and corporations for contributions toward the memorial, which will list the names of 364 Utahns who died in the war."After three years we're starting to realize what the facts are," said Ted Livingston, committee chairman. Few have offered contributions, and the donations the group collected have been paltry.
The group needs $236,402 to finish the memorial. They met with Gov. Norm Bangerter on Thursday to ask the state for at least $116,889.
"It's been disappointing," said Paul Malovich, a member of the group. "A lot of people are in the mind-set that they don't want to think about it (the war) or talk about it, but we can't forget it. We have an obligation to the guys we left behind back there."
After listening carefully to emotional pleas from several members of the group, Bangerter agreed the state should help. However, the group will have to get support from state legislators.
Bangerter asked the group for a list of donors and said he would help attract more money from private businesses.
"I think we ought to get finished and get it (the memorial) up," he said.
If the Legislature approves funding by the end of February, members of the group said, the memorial could be in place by July 4.
Members of the group said the memorial - an 8-foot bronze statue with two polished black marble plaques bearing names - will be more than just a way of honoring the dead.