MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The chief executive of Alabama's government pension program was honored today for a $4 million donation the pension system made toward the restoration of New York's Vietnam Veterans Plaza.
The plaza adjoins 55 Water Street, a large New York City office building owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Plaza presented David Bronner with its second Honoree of the Year Award at a luncheon in New York. The first recipient was former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Retirement Systems deputy director Marc Reynolds says that when the pension program bought the office building it came with an obligation to maintain the plaza. Harry Bridgewood, chairman of the group, said the plaza was built in 1985, but it had become rundown when Bronner suggested a fundraising drive in 1999 to restore it. He said public and private donations totaled more than $3 million and the Retirement Systems kicked in $4 million.
The renovation of the plaza was completed in November 2001. The memorial has twelve stainless steel panels mounted on polished granite. The panels have the names of 1,741 New York City residents killed in Vietnam.