Then something begins to happen. Something unlike anything that has ever happened before: wheels begin to turn long before the issue is but a distant memory. Often in the same day! Unheard of in 1993.
Welcome to the digital age, and one of the side effects brought on by it: Rapid Accountability. No longer can an issue be swept under the rug, or put aside until the next year. Once an issue is out in the public view it will stay there until resolved, or answered for in part thanks to the internet, emails, and places like this that harp on an issue until an answer is found, a resolution proposed, and every last dead horse is beaten beyond recognition, over and over again.
It started last week with a query about why the Veterans Memorial would not be put back to where it had stood for years in front of the town hall, and the realization that there was never an intention to return it to the site outside the town hall, but rather to hang the bronze plaques on a second floor wall where people can view them during visiting hours.
People don't just stop at a Memorial to read the names, they also stop and appreciate what a community has erected in honor of its men and women that served to protect our freedoms. What has been constructed, and how the memorial is presented says so much about those that did serve, and those that are honoring them.
The same can be said when the Memorials are dismantled, and put away. It says so much about those that at one time honored them.
Now, the issue is out in the daylight. The selectmen are all aware, and looking for answers. Some may be found, but most won't be. There will denials, allegations, and accusations leveled, but in the end what will happen is a committee will be formed to study how the Veterans Memorial can be rebuilt on the original site, or across the street with the Memorials honoring our war dead, or maybe on the town common. Then money will be appropriated to hire a firm to design the monument, and to rebuild it. Hopefully, veterans could once again give their time and expertise to do both of these chores. Veterans from the Revolutionary War built the stone wall around the Old Cemetery on Main Street where many of their comrades were laid to rest.
Veterans will always take care of their own, even when a town has shifted its focus, but I hope the two parties will work hand in hand on this project.
Thank you, Wally. You look at a problem objectively and have a way of saying just the right thing.ReplyDelete
Sometimes it's difficult for some of us to see the individual "tree of hope" in a forest of personal and collective hurt. You know how it goes. Something built by a special hand, with real historic significance gets destroyed and there is bound to be an outcry, because you cannot ever make a copy become the original.
Having said that, and wanting so much to simply put the same type of memorial, built of the same materials, back on the same honored spot, at a very reasonable price, I wonder do we have, today, people in town, who can, in honor of our veterans, rebuild our Veterans War Memorial and put the plaques back in place? Wouldn't that be wonderful?!
I know other ideas will be floated about, and aesthetics will again be in question, and in the end, perhaps there will be a compromise, but, for now, my dearest wish on this matter is to, as closely as we can, replicate what we had. A brand new replica of Grandpa's fiddle, never played by Grandpa is not quite the same as the real thing, but let's get together and do the best we can with what we've got. Big bucks can never replace the warmth of the real touch of those who care.