Media: Fianna Dickson, 625.6297. Parks & Recreation: 311 or 509.755.2489
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 3:21 p.m.
SPOKANE – Renovations are nearly complete at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Riverfront Park, thanks to an organized group of veterans and generous donations from community members, local businesses and organizations. A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for noon on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11, 2021.
The memorial renovation includes repair of cracks and a thorough polishing. Several amenities were added to the memorial space including a decorative handrail with military medallions, benches, flag poles, an expanded plaza, wayfinding, and new plantings to enhance the greenscape.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Renovation
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Vietnam veterans from the committee who lead the revitalization effort will speak, along with members of the original committee who ensured the memorial was built in the 1980’s. Mayor Woodward and Park Board president Jennifer Ogden will also share thoughts and words of appreciation for our veterans and the donors who made the restoration possible. A flyover by Honor Flight may occur as well.
The memorial is located in Riverfront Park, above the Washington St. tunnel. For veterans attending the memorial, parking is free in the Washington lot of Riverfront Park, at the corner of Washington and North River Drive. A golf cart shuttle is provided between the parking lot and the memorial.
“These renovations are a small way we can honor and thank our veterans for their sacrifices in service for our country,” said Garrett Jones, director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Spokane. “Hearing from veterans about their renovation priorities was key, and then we focused on bringing those priorities to life with great help from donors who gave generously to this restoration.”
The renovation project began in 2019, with initial fundraising efforts through the Our Town Gala hosted by former Mayor David and Kristin Condon. Additional generous donors have since offered their support of the project: Garco Construction and their subcontractors, Global Credit Union, Innovia Foundation, Spokane County & Eastern Washington Regional Veterans Services, and Spokane Indians Baseball ‘Operation Fly Together Campaign’. Parks & Recreation is also supporting the project financially. Bernardo Wills Architects donated the design. The cost of the renovation is approximately $109,000.
The restoration design was completed in partnership with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and the Inland Northwest Vietnam Veterans Memorial Revitalization Committee. Veterans identified priorities for the renovation and provided feedback along the way.
The memorial originally opened on November 11, 1985, after an organized effort by local veterans and their supporters to plan and fundraise $95,000 for the monument. The bronze statue was designed by Deborah Copenhaver Fellows, and depicts a soldier holding a letter. The names of deceased Vietnam veterans from the Spokane area are engraved in the sculpture's pedestal.
About City of Spokane Parks & Recreation
City of Spokane Parks and Recreation stewards nearly 120 properties across 4,000 acres of park land, including manicured parks, natural lands, aquatic centers, golf courses, sports complexes, and an arboretum. We also offer hundreds of recreation opportunities for all ages and abilities to improve the health and quality of life for our community. Enjoy all your city has to offer by visiting spokaneparks.org. Follow us @SpokaneParks on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.