Commentary: Vietnamese-American memorial on Kansas riverfront would show acceptance

If the Wichita City Council votes Tuesday to place a Vietnamese-American community memorial on riverfront land just beyond John S. Stevens Veterans Memorial Park, it will be a welcome end to a botched process that bruised feelings as it needlessly called into question love of country, respect for U.S. citizens of Vietnamese descent, and appreciation of the service and sacrifice of U.S. military veterans.

A resolution will be a credit to those who’ve worked against long odds to find common ground since June 9, including City Manager Robert Layton, and to the capacity of creative landscaping and design to establish meaningful separation between the park and the proposed memorial.

It also will have meant Wichita found a way to accept what was intended, after all, as a gracious and generous gift to the city from its Vietnamese-American community to honor South Vietnamese and American soldiers who fought side by side in Southeast Asia.

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