PASADENA — For some, the meetings have raised long-buried resentment and bitterness. For others, they have been a time of cleansing and of healing. And for a few, they've been the first time in nearly 20 years to talk about the Vietnam War.
The Pasadena Vietnam War Memorial Committee, composed of about 40 city employees who served in the Vietnam War, has been working to find a site, design and money for a Vietnam War memorial in Pasadena for more than a year.
The process has included a retreat at Vista Del Arroyo, a city-owned building near the Rose Bowl, and a daylong meeting in which the group members were encouraged to explore their feelings about the war and the proposed memorial.
"It's a mixed bag of people who served, from basic infantry types to folks on ships, truck drivers, cooks, radio communications people and supply workers," said committee member Bruce Linsenmayer, a police sergeant. "Some of them have significant feelings about that whole event."
Some reactions to the hope of a memorial, in a report presented earlier this week to the Pasadena Board of Directors, were:
* "Peace of mind. Now finally this country is deciding that we weren't bad guys."
* "Tell me that it was worth it."
* "Move past frustration. Sense of peace. Accord the proper respect, close the chapter."
* "Walter Cronkite was full of (it)."
Though the feelings vary, the veterans are united in their desire to ensure that Pasadena's memorial is not the tombstone type common in other cities, Linsenmayer said. They also want to ensure that it commemorates all who served in varying capacities, he added.
"GIs shooting something, that's how it's usually treated; and not everybody there was an infantryman," Linsenmayer said.
For that reason, the committee is seeking a design incorporating the names of all Pasadena residents who died in the conflict and a map of Vietnam showing where they died. So far, 33 Pasadena residents have been identified; other names have been submitted and are being verified.
The city last month advanced the committee $15,000 to advertise the design competition, which will be open not only to professional artists, but also to others in the community, such as high school and Pasadena City College students.
A site has been chosen at Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave., but it must be approved by the city's Development Department and the Board of Directors.
About $5,000 in contributions has been received so far. The amount to be raised will probably depend on the design selected, Linsenmayer said.
The committee hopes to unveil the memorial by Labor Day next year. Said Director Bill Paparian, a committee member: "It will be a tribute not to the war, but to the warriors, and those who served and came back and are living productive lives, and to the missing from Pasadena."
PASADENA VIETNAM CASUALTIES
Name Rank Branch of Age Date of Service Death Vernon E. Brackins Lance Corporal Marines 21 8-29-66 Bruce C. Brogoitti Sergeant Army 21 8-16-68 James L. Carter Colonel Air Force 45 7-26-74 David M. Cash Sergeant Army 21 2-15-68 Dale S. Chamberlain Specialist 4 Army 21 9-25-70 Michael D. D Aiello Specialist 4 Army 21 10-3-67 Walter S. Davis Specialist 4 Army 25 8-31-68 Timothy J. Duncan Specialist 5 Army 36 10-4-68 Mark N. Enari First Lieutenant Army 24 12-2-66 James P. Fullerton Specialist 4 Army 19 3-13-69 Charles P. Girard Specialist 5 Army 19 3-9-69 Chester L. Goins Private 1st Class Army 21 8-15-69 Jerry E. Guerra Specialist 5 Army 41 8-28-67 Fred D. Hardy Lance Corporal Marines 24 12-8-66 John D. Hodge Specialist 4 Army 21 2-17-71 James A. Johansen Warrant Officer Army 23 1-18-68 Abbott R. Jones Lt. Colonel Army 49 2-18-70 Daniel L. Kirstein Hospital Corpsman 3 Navy 21 5-8-67 Robert V. Kurilich Major Marines 30 6-7-68 Hoi T. Lau Private 1st Class Army 22 2-3-68 Patrick J. Lavelle Corporal Marines 19 2-2-68 William J. Levett Specialist 4 Army 20 2-24-69 Floyd L. Long Lance Corporal Marines 20 11-18-67 Alfred R. Mahoney Jr. First Lieutenant Army 22 10-31-68 William J. Phillips Private 1st Class Army 22 1-25-66 Thomas R. Raschel Specialist 5 Army 27 6-17-67 Jay D. Richter Specialist 4 Army 25 4-24-68 Roger C. Rose Warrant Officer Army 23 9-8-67 Thomas J. Sanchez Master Sergeant Army 32 3-6-67 Edward M. Shelton Jr. Specialist 4 Army 21 4-30-68 Jon K. Stever Lieutenant Navy 24 6-2-69 Richard L. Whiteman Specialist 5 Army 22 4-10-70 David P. Zimmerman Lance Corporal Marines 19 4-21-68
The Pasadena Vietnam War Memorial Committee Inc., is seeking to complete its list of names of Pasadena residents who died in Vietnam or are missing in action. Anyone with knowledge of an individual whose name does not appear on the list should contact Robert Person, assistant to the city manager, (818) 405-4222.