The city of Jeffersontown broke ground Thursday on a new monument honoring Vietnam War veterans. The Tri-An monument will recognize the sacrifices the American and South Vietnamese Armed Forces made during the Vietnam War. Tri-An means “deep gratitude” in the Vietnamese language. The Monument will be located in the Jeffersontown’s Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer joined local veterans for Thursday’s ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park.

“We left a piece of ourselves in Vietnam when we came back,” Retired Maj. Gen. Mike Davidson said. “But we brought back a piece of Vietnam with us, and it’s with us still every day in a very positive way.”

Watch the Groundbreaking ceremony here.

The monument was the idea of a group of community members led by Yung Nguyen, immigrant from Vietnam.  In January 2017 Grega Vezjak’s design was selected in an international competition. Over 128 entries from 29 countries participated in the Tri An Monument design competition. This competition was recognized as one of the top 10 architecture competitions worldwide in 2016. The winning design was selected through a vigorous process by a panel of judges to fulfill the criteria of creating a monument that is meaningful, unique, dramatic, and timeless to commemorate those who had fought and sacrificed during the Vietnam War. The design creates an environment that aids the visitors in reflecting upon the triumphs and losses as well as the humanitarian efforts displayed during the war. The monument will fit harmoniously with the tranquil beauty of the nature surrounding the site. Most importantly, the design conveys the overarching meaning of deep gratitude to those who fought to protect and help the South Vietnamese people.

Monument will be made from granite from South Vietnam. The pandemic and supply chain issues delayed shipments of the 270 tons of granite needed for the memorial. But with the last 15 shipping containers recently arriving from Vietnam, the construction will begin as soon as Monday. Walls made from 36 solid granite blocks each measuring up to 3m/3,3m/0,3m will form a half-entrenched courtyard with views opening to the surrounding landscape and the Chenowet run below. In the courtyard there will stand in straight line eight 8m height columns representing soldiers from eight countries that fought for freedom in Vietnam war.

The project is be funded solely through donations. The monument is expected to be completed in late 2023.

More about the competition project read here. Tri-An Foundation web site with Monument description is available here.