The Schenectady County Legislature held a groundbreaking event for a new Schenectady County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park to be located at SUNY Schenectady, between the back parking lot and State Street. The park will include a memorial, a concrete viewing area with granite benches, lighting and a flag pole. A new crosswalk will be added, from the parking lot to the walkway, for pedestrian access to the park.
The memorial park will be the first County park to honor Schenectady County residents who served in the military during the Vietnam War. According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau estimate, over 8,500 veterans call Schenectady County home.
“All too often when Vietnam Veterans came home, they were not given the recognition or support they needed and deserved,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This memorial park is one small way for our community to thank those veterans for their selfless service and the sacrifices they made for our country.”
"SUNY Schenectady is honored to serve as the site for the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park, a serene space for reflection and remembrance,” said Dr. Steady Moono, SUNY Schenectady President. “As Memorial Day is upon us and we honor those who died while serving in the U.S. military, it is fitting to announce this meaningful and important new addition to our campus.”
“The Vietnam Memorial Committee would like to thank everyone who was involved in the planning of this important memorial. Everyone we reached out to at the County was very enthusiastic about making it happen,” said William Frank, Director of the Schenectady County Department of Veterans Affairs, Vietnam Veteran and member of the Vietnam Memorial Committee. “This July 5th will mark the 50th anniversary of my landing in Cam Rahn Bay, and I know I speak for my fellow Vietnam Veterans when I say thank you for giving us the welcome home gift which we missed when we returned so many years ago.”
The Legislature allocated $81,000 in capital funds for the project in June of 2019. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021.
Purple Heart Community
The Schenectady County Legislature passed a resolution in February of 2021 proclaiming Schenectady County as a Purple Heart Community. The designation honors the service and sacrifice of the men and women in uniform who were wounded or killed by the enemy while serving to protect the freedoms enjoyed by all Americans.