In the southwest corner of the school parking lot, there is a patch of grass that is owned by the Museum of Flight (MoF). Students have been curious about what the space would be used for, and answers were finally delivered when the MoF revealed it will become a Vietnam War Memorial.
Ted Huetter, PR manager at the MoF, believes that the land will soon be in use to display a Vietnam-era B-52G Stratofortress. However, the plans are still in development.
“That area will be turned into a Vietnam War Air Combat memorial, and the site of our B-52, so we’re still at a fundraising phase for that,” said Huetter.
The memorial will be open to everyone free of charge. The MoF is going to make it part of the community and anyone can be involved in the new memorial.
“As this park will be free and open to all, we look forward to it becoming very much a part of the community, including the school communities,” said Huetter. “Many young people in school now have older members of their family who were involved in the Vietnam War.”
The MoF hopes that the memorial will help build connections with students and teach them about the war. They also hope that RAHS students will spread the word about this new addition.
“This memorial will help them connect to an influential period in their lives,” said Huetter. “Students are encouraged to spread the word about the memorial to their families to help in fundraising for this project, especially as a way to honor relatives that served in Vietnam.”
Like all of the other projects the MoF designs, the planning and execution are complex, and it will take some time to complete the exhibit.
“This noble project will be a huge endeavor: the plane will first need to be refinished and painted at Paine Field, then be partially disassembled, moved to the memorial park, and reassembled.” according to the project document. “The project will also involve site development and other landscaping, as well as developing exhibit materials to tell the story of the Vietnam War.”
The repainting and repair of the B-52G will begin later this year.
“The time has come for this veteran warbird to be restored to its glory and given a new home in a place of honor,” according to the project document. “The Vietnam Air War Memorial Park on The Museum of Flight’s Boeing Field campus will be that place. This B-52 will be the centerpiece of a park remembering all of the men and women who served in the Vietnam Air War. The total project budget is $2.2 million dollars. We invite your support to help bring this important project to completion.”