"It ain't over . . . They ain't seen nothing yet," said Milton R. Copulos, the Heritage Foundation energy expert and former Vietnam trooper who, with others, hates Maya Lin's stark, black design for the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial on the Mall. He was a leader in the successful effort to have a heroic statue, a U.S. flag and a name directory added. But added where? It's still up in the air and must be decided by official commissions. Copulos wants the new elements prominently displayed, and he is furious with J. Carter Brown, head of the D.C. Fine Arts Commission, who wants them grouped out of sight, as an "entryway" halfway to the Lincoln Memorial. "He's putting it in the trees hidden from view," Copulos said. "They're trying to create two separate memorials so they can maintain the very negative tone of the Maya Lin design. The whole point was to change the tone."
The commission was all set to approve Brown's version at its meeting Dec. 14, but Brown got a last-minute call from Interior Secretary James Watt--who must formally make the design submission--taking the matter off the next day's agenda because, Watt said, he had to touch some bases on the Hill. What this meant became clear on Dec. 20, when lame-duck Rep. Don Bailey (D-Pa.), a Vietnam veteran who dislikes the Lin design, got a bill through the House debunking the entryway concept. The Senate did nothing and Bailey is gone, but Copulos has contacts inside the Interior Department and the National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the other deciding agency. The Fine Arts Commission meets again Jan. 11, but Copulos said don't count on Watt submitting the entryway version.