- Associated Press - Friday, November 10, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The city of Omaha has received a $200,000 donation to create a new monument honoring Korean and Vietnam War veterans to replace one that had fallen into disrepair.

The Korea Vietnam Peace Memorial was installed in 1976 and restored 20 years ago. The monument featuring a soldier and child will be replaced with an identical replica and has already been removed from Memorial Park, the Omaha World-Herald reported .

“It was beyond repair,” said Parks Director Brook Bench.

The city announced the private donation Wednesday during the Veterans Shine On lighting ceremony at the park.

Jensen Conservation Service is building the replica, which is expected to be done next year.

Mayor Jean Stothert said the city’s philanthropic community generously supports Omaha’s parks.

“This monument is a symbol of military service and sacrifice, so we are especially grateful to the donor for acknowledging the Americans who served,” she said.

The city also plans to build and pay for new sidewalks leading from Memorial Park’s circle drive to the new monument. Bench said people have had to walk through grass to access the monument. Sidewalks will allow accessibility for people in wheelchairs or those pushing baby strollers, Bench said.

The City Council earlier this year put $100,000 into the mayor’s 2018 budget to help restore the Korean and Vietnam Wars tribute, as well as the World War II colonnade in Memorial Park.

Advocates hope the work will be done in time for the 70th anniversary of the park’s dedication next year.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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