Gift to aid in Vietnam memorial upkeep

Associated Press / May 12, 2010

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WASHINGTON — A labor union is pledging $50,000 for upkeep of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial grounds on the National Mall.

The Maryland-based International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers unveiled the gift yesterday to help care for about 13 acres for the rest of the year.

Last year, the private foundation that built the memorial took over landscaping and maintenance of the site from the National Park Service. Officials said they were moved to act after reading an Associated Press investigative story on the lack of federal money for the mall, despite needed repairs.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund spent nearly $100,000 last year to repair a broken irrigation system and overhaul the landscaping. The group also plans to restore a bronze sculpture of three soldiers at the memorial.