A garden will be built to commemorate both Vietnamese and American soldiers killed in the battle of Khe Sanh in the north-central province of Quang Tri with funds collected from war veterans around the world, the Saigon Times Daily reported.
Work on the Khe Sanh Garden project will start on March 27, according to its developer PeaceTrees Vietnam – a Seattle-based humanitarian organization working in central Vietnam to assist those whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the explosive remnants of war.
Quang Tri borders Laos and is home to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which divided the country during the Vietnam War. The war ended in 1975.
Under the project, more than 10 hectares (24.7 acres) of land at the former Khe Sanh Combat Base (Ta Con Airport) will be restored into a garden, in which statues will be made to commemorate fallen soldiers of both sides.
Quang Le, director of PeaceTrees Vietnam, said a sanctuary will also be built within the garden to display images and artifacts pertaining to the experience of fallen warriors from all sides of any armed conflict.
“The photos will represent all fallen soldiers, no matter which sides they were on, and will bear no political meaning,” he said.
Le hoped the Khe Sanh Garden project would help families and friends of fallen soldiers who used to confront each other in the war become reconciled in peace.
The government of Quang Tri has approved the project, which would help promote Khe Sanh as a tourist destination.
Also on March 27, Soldiers' Sanctuary, a documentary film by Luke L. Hansen, will be premiered in Khe Sanh, opening a campaign to raise more funds for the project.
Dave Hansen, charged with fundraising for the project, said it will cost at least US$2.5 million.
PeaceTrees Vietnam is working on a plan to organize an international contest to design detailed works of the project.
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