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Monument Park/WW2 Memorial

10/01/2007
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I’ve been thinking very long and hard about the “new” WWII Memorial planned for Monument Park and I really do have mixed emotions.

Yes I’m for the idea of a WWII Monument but not at the expense of “clutter”, the “cramped” area that it seems it will create and the movement of the two canons and of the WWI “Doughboy”.

In conversation with “an old timer” in the Warren area, and connected for many years with the inner workings of the City, he mentioned to me that the present site of the WWI “Doughboy” was selected so it was not near the Civil War Monument for a reason; that reason being that the “WWI vets didn’t want to take away from the honor and glory of their Grandfather Memorial”.

“Doughboy”Well their gone now and can’t speak for themselves. It seems a dishonor to move the “Doughboy”, it has been in it’s present location a long time, and I’ve always thought one should honor tradition.

Since the Amphitheater Entrance is right next to Monument Park, why not look at the feasibility of expanding the monument area, especially the new WWII proposal, into and including the Amphitheater entrance and walkway, thereby eliminating the perceived “clutter” and “cramped” look of the memorial area.

On May 15th, 2005, I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper about the then proposed change of Mahoning Avenue to “Veteran”s Memorial Parkway”.

“DEAR EDITOR:
I must start with the fact that my grandfather was a veteran of World War I and a prisoner of war. My father was a veteran of World War II, and my mother served in the RAF in that war. My uncle was a veteran of Korea, and I am a veteran of the Vietnam era.

The honor and glory of serving is not in the monuments, not in the parks and surely not in changing names of streets. The history of ”Millionaires Row” is not of Veterans Parkway, but of Mahoning Avenue and those who served went to protect that history.

The honor and glory to those who served is in the flag flying over courthouses, bank buildings, schools and in front lawns across this nation. It is seen in every parade when the flag leads a group of marching bands filled with young school children.

The honor and glory of serving is not in the re-naming of a street but in hearing the ringing of church bells of all faiths across this great country. It is in not in the re-naming of a street but in the tear in your eye and a lump in your throat upon hearing taps.

Leave Mahoning Avenue’s name the same and honor those who served with everyday acts of ”patriotism.””

It was after that letter that I commented, in private conversations with several people, about having the City re-name Market Street Bridge to “Veterans Memorial Bridge” and even suggested the “Shepherding” of the River Walk (I revisited the idea two years later: see previous post on Shepherding, April 16th, 2007) which others have championed and completed at the last City Council meeting.

Yes, let’s honor the WWII Vet, but let’s not dishonor those who have already served and whose monuments stand so very proudly in their “hallowed” spot.

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