Donor offers to pay tolls for rolling Vietnam memorial

| 9/28/2007

A Portland, ME, man has offered to pay more than $2,000 in tolls for a group of motorcyclists who escorted a rolling Vietnam War memorial up the Maine Turnpike.

According to the Portland Press Herald, a dispute had erupted over whether the motorcyclists – who escorted a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from York to Lewiston on Sunday – should have to pay tolls.

The dispute was ended when Vaughan Pratt, who sits as a member of the Maine Special Olympics Board of Directors, stepped forward and offered to pay.

Pratt told the Press Herald he did it as a tribute to a friend who died in Vietnam, and as a favor to the motorcycle clubs and veterans’ groups that have supported Special Olympics in the past.

Pratt said the state turnpike authority, “missed an opportunity to show off the state in a great light by waiving the tolls.”

He added that this is not a “save the whales” charity, and that these are “people who died for our country.”