PAPILLION — A $75,000 community grant for Google Data Centers has advanced Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Memorial’s efforts to create a memorial that remembers the past and educates the future.
On Jan. 26, the Nebraska Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation announced the grant for the two-acre, statewide memorial honoring the 396 Nebraskas killed in action during the Vietnam era.
The memorial is scheduled to be dedicated this spring near the SumTur Amphitheater, just south of 108th and Highway 370 in Papillion. Its opening is scheduled for March 29, 2023, also known as Vietnam Veterans Day.
“We are thrilled to have the support of the local Google Data Center team for this memorial, which will be a meaningful addition to the entire state. The memorial is important to veterans and all Nebraskans. NVVMF President Tom Brown said in a press release.
The NVVMF was established in 2019 by a group of Vietnam veterans who saw the need to create a memorial honoring all Nebraskanians lost in the Vietnam War. It is estimated that by 2030, nearly half of Nebraska’s Vietnam War veterans living today will have died.
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Google’s regional external affairs manager Dan Harbeke said the company’s grants support eligible organizations and initiatives in local communities. To date, Google has awarded more than $2 million to Nebraska schools and nonprofits.
“We are so happy to offer our support, but humbled by this opportunity,” Harbeke said in a statement. “It is an honor for us to commemorate those who served and to be part of the memory of their legacy.”
The memorial includes a wall of honor and a UH-1 Huey helicopter flown in Vietnam. Throughout the memorial, 11 obelisks will create a historical journey through the events of the Vietnam era. QR codes will allow visitors to learn about individual soldiers.
It will also feature the flagpole of the United States and flags representing branches of the military, benches and green spaces for reflection and rest.
To learn more about the Nebraska Vietnam Memorial, visit nvvmf.org. A virtual tour of the memorial can be viewed here: youtube.com/watch?v=tIojlxVQQMM.