• Cape Cod town fighting proposed Vietnam War veterans monument

    By: Chris Flanagan

    Updated:

    SANDWICH, Mass. - There's a battle on Cape Cod over a proposed Vietnam veterans war memorial. 

    The Sandwich Board of Selectmen approved the plans unanimously, but some members of the town's historic committee objected. 

    The proposed monument would be in Eaton Square, next to Sandwich Town Hall, but veterans were told it couldn't be in the heart of the square because it would make it too cluttered and look too much like a cemetery. 

    For Marine veteran Rob Dinan, this is a labor of love.

    "I didn't have to serve in Vietnam. I went into the Marine Corp in '77 but I have a lot of friends that served in Vietnam," he said.

    Dinan spent nearly a decade in the Marines, including a tour in Lebanon when the U.S. Embassy was attacked. Dinan designed the Vietnam War memorial in his Marston Mills sign shop. 

    "These guys never got the proper welcome home like the guys coming home do now," said Dinan. 

    The Sandwich Historic District has the final say on where the monument will be placed. They say they are not opposed to it in Eaton Square, they just want it in a different spot and that the monument would be too close to other war monuments.

    "Each memorial should stand on its own and honor those veterans for whom that memorial was intended," said committee member Mary Foley. 

    But many veterans, including Ray Tourville, commander of American Legion Post 188, disagree.

    "They didn't like the look of it. They didn't like being a little too modern. I think they said the height and location," said Tourville.

    "Every monument is new looking when it goes up. They want it more quaint looking, which I don't understand," said Dinan. 

    The Historic District Committee is expected to take a formal vote on where the memorial will be allowed to be placed Wednesday night. The veterans say if they can't put the memorial in the heart of the green, they will appeal. 

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