If we really want a memorial …

I’ve read with interest the articles about Memorial Park’s future. The arguments on both sides of the issue were sound, but in the end the environmentalists and veterans won out over Indiana Tech.

If veterans want a memorial park, some reconstruction and demolitions need to take place.

In an article the park department commented that they did not know the exact date of the pool’s opening because of the shortage of lifeguards. Add to that they said it was the least used of all the city pools. Let’s close Memorial Park’s swimming pool and tear it out the same as Swinney Park’s pool was. In its place trees could be planted and reseeded. The slides and toys at the top of the hill could remain. They look nice for the children.

Next up, tear out the ball diamond. The people who use it won’t use the prescribed park entrance and parking lot but instead jump the curb on Glasgow and drive through the grass. The ruts and wheel tracks look trashy. If they won’t respect the park then take the ball diamond away from them.

The swimmers and ball players can use the YMCA and other parks. With the remaining banks at the former ball diamond, let’s plant full-length flower beds. Leave the infield and outfield as is. In the infield let’s erect four flag poles flying the four flags of the armed forces. At the base have a stone monument listing all wars Americans have fought.

It would look beautiful from Washington Street. On the south side of the park let’s tear out the basketball courts and reseed it. They interfere with the picturesque view of the pavilion.

The pond statue either needs to be fixed or demolished. At present it is headless and dirty. It looks terrible.

Throughout the park let’s add more flower beds. Let’s put in lilac bushes and add some Russian olive trees with their sweet fragrance.

At the top of the hill next to the aviator let’s erect statues of Charles Lindbergh and Neal Armstrong. How about Gen. George Patton and Chesty Puller and Audie Murphy.

Let’s not forget the ancient Greek civilization, the cradle of democracy. Let’s erect a statute of Alexander the Great, who never lost a battle. The crowning sculpture would be of Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address.

The pavilion and the swing sets and slides can be used for family picnics and gatherings and children’s happy laughter.

Seeing the next generation of children using the park is a fitting testimonial to the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice and died so painfully.

Three of the entrances and a third of the roads have been torn out. Let’s finish this job.

Let’s totally dedicate Memorial Park to a memorial of peace and quietude, the very peace that our honored dead need. And then Memorial Park will become the memorial it was meant to be. <br>

<i> Dave Hanic is a resident of Fort Wayne. </i>