Letters to the Editor

Les Gove Park is a good fit for joint memorial

In reference to your front page story, "City pitches war memorial for Les Gove Park," (Nov. 29, Auburn Reporter), I offer a few words on it.

We, members of the VFW Post 1741 see this as a battle won. I believe the members of the American Legion Post 78 and the Intertribal Warriors of Auburn also joined us in considering this as a significant and important battle that we all have won.

There should only be one flag that should fly at the Veterans Memorial Park, and that's the Star and Stripes. And there should only be one kind of veterans that should be honored at that memorial park, and that's the veterans of the United States of America.

Les Gove Park is the perfect spot for that joint memorial.

Nancy Backus, mayor-elect and chair of the Planning and Community Development committee, said the joint memorial is a "compromise." Indeed, for it has been a divisive and contentious issue for us, Vietnam-era veterans.

And that the fact that this joint memorial "would be placed on a public property, on park property, is of significance," Ms. Backus said.

I agree.

It's also a significant park, where many major events of our city are held. And surely, not a "beggar's choice," as a fellow Vietnam veteran, David Schmidt, puts it.

As VFW Post 1741 Commander Frank Bannister graciously said, "In retrospect, this a wise compromise, as there was tremendous support for the joint memorial, but the wisdom of our current City leaders has avoided an issue that could split vets in the Auburn community.

"The Vietnam War," Bannister added, "was an individual experience for all those impacted by it. Each Vietnam vet is at a different place in the healing process, but now Auburn has two places where Vietnam veterans can go."

So, may I say then, yes, let's now begin the healing process. Let's put an all stop to the divisiveness among us veterans. Let's unite, once more, for the good of the City of Auburn. Let's present a united front.

– Jesse Jose

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