As you cross the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, take a quick look at the memorial stones on each side of the bridge. One is on Main Street in Lewiston and the other on Center Street in Auburn.
The stone with plaque on the Auburn side has been defiled since the 2001 reconstruction where the road was moved 10 feet closer to the memorial. Since then, snow plowed on Center Street has been pushed against the stone with salt and filth.
The Maine Department of Transportation was made aware of this disrespectful situation. I politely requested that it move the stone out of harm’s way, since this condition was created during its 2001 highway reconstruction.
MDOT agreed to move the stone away from the roadway in that general area. Since then, it has done an “about-face.” Department officials state that the problem is simply my opinion and that moving the stone is up to Vietnam veterans and/or the city of Auburn.
The memorials contain the names of 27 sons of Lewiston and Auburn. The majority of the names are fallen Marines. All of them are American heroes.
Both memorials are an integral part of the bridge. MDOT is responsible for the care and maintenance in the same way that it is for the bridge. That comes from a legislative resolve in 1973.
Shame on the Maine Department of Transportation officials for their bad conduct.
Richard McGuinness, Auburn