WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A philanthropist says she decided to push for a memorial to disabled U.S. veterans after she saw a multiple amputee at the Vietnam memorial in Washington.
The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington is to be dedicated Sunday. Lois Pope, widow of Generoso Pope, founder of the National Enquirer, contributed $10 million to the foundation she co-founded to raise money for the memorial.
Pope, who lives in Manalapan, Fla., said that in 1995 she saw the amputee, who was weeping, trying to lay flowers at the base of the Vietnam memorial.
"I went over to hold him," she told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "As I was turning to go, I saw a Park Service ranger and asked him where the memorial to disabled veterans was. His answer was that there wasn't one. That did it. That was the catalyst that sent me on a quest that turned into an obsession to build the memorial."
The memorial occupies a triangle across from the U.S. Botanic Garden. The five points of the star-shaped fountain represent the five branches of the military, and there are also reflecting pools, bronze relief panels and 48 glass panels that tell the story of wounded veterans.
Cauldon Quinn, 42, who manages a financial office in Philadelphia, was wounded while serving as a Navy officer. He is impressed by the long effort to get the memorial built.
"The country has finally separated the disdain for what politicians do with the military and the service member who sacrifices himself for his country," he said. "Our country loves the soldier and hates the war; that's a positive evolution."