“This is a monument that’s intended to recognize all those who have served since Vietnam,” said Wilkerson, who designed the monument and is overseeing preparations. “It takes in the Cold War and all of the other campaigns and engagements we’ve been involved it.”
Those include (but are not limited to) the Cuban missile crisis, the Berlin Wall, Panama, Granada, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Kosovo, Desert Storm, Yemen, Libya, “and on and on,” Wilkerson said. All of the veterans from Wyoming who have died while serving will be individually named on the monument, he said.
The monument’s official unveiling and dedication will take place Sept. 10.
The memorial, 6 feet high and 9 feet wide, will consist of seven obelisks, and it will include insignia for all branches of the military. The monument’s design will allow future expansion by adding obelisks as needed, Wilkerson said.
The granite for the monument was quarried and polished, and engraving will start next week, he said.
“It will be very nice,” he said. “We hope to have it done by end of August, then we’ll do a little landscaping before the dedication.”
The monument was designed to use existing space in the park. Infrastructure for the new memorial was put in place during site preparations for the Wyoming Korean Veterans Monument and the Wyoming World War II Veterans Monument, both of which now stand in the park. Wilkerson helped design and construct those memorials as well.
Previously, a memorial to veterans of the Vietnam War was built in the area, which later was developed into the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Park.