Statue honoring those who fought in Vietnam War coming to San Jose's Vietnamese Heritage Garden

Dustin Dorsey Image
Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Statue honoring those who fought in Vietnam War coming to San Jose
After long delays, here's how a San Jose project will bring Vietnamese history to life at the Vietnamese Heritage Garden.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Members of the Vietnamese Community have long called for better representation of their culture in San Jose.

Now, a project and a promise to develop the Viet Heritage Garden, that has faced major delays, will finally be fulfilled.

For too long, members of San Jose's Vietnamese community say the history of their ancestors, their struggles and their triumphs have been tucked away.

This is even happening in city where 130,000 people of Vietnamese decent live, more than any city outside Vietnam.

Now at the Vietnamese Heritage Garden, councilmember Bien Doan and the community will watch their culture's history brought to life.

"This moment is not merely about digging soil or laying bricks," Councilmember Doan said. "It is a celebration of our heritage - our collective identity, our enduring spirit."

Ground is now officially broken on a project that will help transform this heritage garden.

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Its center piece is a statue depicting an American and Vietnamese soldier standing side by side, named "Thank you, America".

It intends to honor all those who fought in the Vietnam War.

"It is a sanctuary of remembrance, a beacon of hope and a testament of the indomitable spirit of our community," Councilmember Doan said.

The statue is just the beginning.

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After three decades of various delays, construction on the statues will start immediately and finish in July.

San Jose leaders ultimately envision a community center for performances and educational programs to recognize the past and look ahead to the future.

"It pays homage to the journey that thousands of families took to find a better life here in America," Mayor Matt Mahan said. "And it helps create that better life by providing a space for people to come together, celebrate and share the rich Vietnamese culture with the next generation."

The community feels the blessing knowing that they will never feel their culture is hidden away again.

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