AIKEN, SC (WJBF) – The move has been in the works for several years, but, was caught up in government red tape. At the old location, the monument was hard to access. Now, it’s a lot easier to get and a lot more visible.

“One of the big movers and shakers was Lowell Koppert who is an Army Veteran, himself, he was a Green Beret in the global war on terror. He’s a passionate advocate for Vietnam Veterans,” Vietnam Veteran Linda Caldwell said.

Citizens and veterans explain why today is so significant to them and the 32 names on the monument. 

 “Being able to move it to Veterans Park, where it truly belongs, so that people can pay homage to those names that are on this monument– those 32 names that are there, these are soldiers who are from Aiken County,” Caldwell said.

With the city and county councils both pushing for the move, the final decision was left up to state lawmakers.

“We were able to get a bill passed through the House of Representatives and the State Senate to authorize the relocation of this monument from where it is in this median in Downtown Aiken where it’s very difficult for veterans and their families and others to visit the monument,” South Carolina Senator Tom Young said.

Burrell Whitley helped design the monument more than 50 year ago.  He says he’s glad he was here to see it moved.

“Finally getting it here is probably one of the greatest times of my life because as a disabled Vietnam Veteran, I have the greatest amount of respect for those who served. It’s a– it’s just a remarkable day and it is a day in history for Aiken.

There will be a dedication ceremony on Memorial Day, May 30th, here at Aiken County Veterans Memorial Park.