WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) — Veterans and their family members are voicing their frustration with the Mat-Su Borough's recent decision to move the Veterans' Wall of Honor from its original location off the Parks Highway in Wasilla.
While the Wall of Honor wasn't on the agenda at Tuesday's Borough Assembly meeting, the issue certainly generated the most amount of speaking time from citizens. The Veterans' Wall of Honor was dismantled over a month ago to be relocated, after standing in its original location for two decades. According to the Borough Mayor, the land the wall stood on was sold for around $1.25 million.
"All of us are upset that it’s being moved and we have to move on, but you guys failed," said Veteran Jerry Hoskins.
Veterans lined up during the public comments portion of the meeting to voice their frustration over the wall being torn down and moved to its future location off of Wasilla-Fishhook Road.
Mat-Su leaders said that five veterans groups, including local VFW posts, told the Assembly they approved moving the wall. However, veterans speaking tonight said they were told there was no choice, and that it could not stay on the property off of the George Parks Highway.
"My name was on that wall, my father’s name was on that wall, and I put my father’s ashes below his name. That's hallowed ground. Is there a way we can save that dirt and transfer it over? Have you guys even thought about that," said Keith Lipse, Veteran.
"Five veterans groups that were in this room several different times giving their consent to it. I know some of you are saying no, and that's your own personal feelings, but that's how it was presented to the Borough," said Mat-Su Borough Mayor Vern Halter.
Both the Mayor and the Assembly members hope that the new Wall of Honor will be up in time for Veterans Day at the new location off of Fishhook Road in Wasilla but there's no guarantee.