Letter to the Editor

Build a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Tupelo
There are countless monuments and memorials in Washington, D.C., some of them grand and overwhelming, such as those honoring Jefferson and Lincoln.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, adjacent to the National Mall, is not like any of those. Dedicated in 1993, it is a 276 foot long wall of granite, at places 10 feet high, inscribed with the names of almost 60,000 men and women killed and missing in action in the Vietnam War.
The Wall was as controversial as the war it marks. The design by architect Maya Lin was considered radical and disrespectful by some, unlike any other war memorial ever built. The planning began in 1979, just four years after the end of the war. The meaning of the Vietnam War is still a topic bound to spark discussion, but back then, it was nearly impossible to have anything approaching reasoned conversation. It was a toxic issue and, in some quarters, it still is.
In a significant way, the Wall solved that problem forever.
Whatever your position was or is about the Vietnam War, the Wall washes that away, mostly in a flood of tears. For those related by blood or friendship to anyone on the Wall, it is a profound moment of recognition and remembrance. For everyone, whether they served there or elsewhere, whether they knew anyone in the war, whether they actively opposed the war, the Wall has one unmistakable message: War is not numbers. War is individual loss and sacrifice for a greater purpose, one for all. War is a name and a life.
Now there is an extraordinary effort to build a replica of the Wall in Tupelo.
The initiative is being led by Janie Alexander, inspired by one of the traveling replicas of the Wall that have been crisscrossing the country for a number of years. This 60 percent scale granite replica would be built in Veterans Park, not only adding to the honor of that site, but creating a deeply meaningful memorial that would bring thousands of visitors to the park and to Tupelo.
Planning and fundraising for the Wall in Tupelo are underway. Donations are being accepted by the CREATE Foundation. For more information contact Veterans ParkWall@aol.com or call 662-231-1771.
Bob Schwartz

Don’t forget to honor those who died serving
May 21 I was in Tupelo where I was one of many who went to Veterans Park to witness as a monument was dedicated in honor of WWII Veterans. It was a simple magnificent day of tribute to a dedicated and positive select people who were determined that we would emerge victorious from attacks on both sides of the world.
I will end with this request; don’t fail to acknowledge our law enforcement and our veterans; they make it possible for us to live in a country of free men, women, and children. Do not forget Memorial Day today. Turn out for veteran’s services, fly your flag, pause, look around and say thanks to those who have served. Say a prayer of thanks for those who have given the extreme sacrifice and also to those who have served, and to those men and women who serve today. Say thank you to the families of veterans because they have sacrificed also while loved ones serve in the military of the United States of America.
Tom Lucas
World War II veteran

Tupelo still should have a public transit system
Nearly one year ago, council members argued that the city of Tupelo didn’t have the money to afford a public transit system due to the city’s tough financial position. Several councilmen wouldn’t support it until Tupelo balanced its budget and reined in spending. But then, somehow, they are able to find $11.3 million for a brand new swimming facility.
After spending $25,000 for a study about public transit, they refused to accept the results. The cost would range between $430,000 to $500,000 a year with over 62,000 riders in year 1 increasing to over 103,000 by the second year. Now if the city can give over $100,000 to the Tupelo Airport, why not that much towards public transport? With state DOT grants and corporate and public donors, it is more than feasible to operate responsibly. If the city of Meridian can support such a system, why can’t Tupelo? Most all reports indicate that buses would be used for employment-related travel, local shopping, and to aid the elderly, poor, and disabled.
A city with a 70 percent populous affiliated with religious congregations and over 20 percent of those residents living at or below the poverty level, wouldn’t the real, true, Christian thing to do would be to help those who are less fortunate and stop feigning outrage about how their taxpayer dollars are being “wasted”? I know that my faith says “if a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13. Also remind yourselves that “if there is a poor man in any of the land that God is giving you, be not hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.” Deuteronomy 15:7
Raymond Gunn

NEMS Daily Journal

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