From IJReview: A veterans’ group in suburban Michigan is under fire for a proposed monument to fallen soldiers from the Vietnam War. The design features an iconic “battle field cross” which includes an M-16 rifle, similar to this memorial at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery:
The group wants to place a fallen solder memorial – also known as a battle field cross – at the end of the brick paver walkway leading out from the current Veterans Memorial near the main park entrance.
The plan calls for an 8-foot-tall monument, including a 43-inch granite base matching the current memorial, topped by a 52-inch sculpture of the fallen soldier memorial: a bronze sculpture of combat boots, rifle – an M-16 – with dog tags and a helmet on top.
“There was some concern from a couple of members regarding the specific memorial that’s proposed. Specifically, the gun,” Milford Village Manager Christian Wuerth told the Free Press, “They understood the history and meaning of it; they just didn’t feel it was appropriate for that specific location.”
“Being a veteran, I want to see a monument there, yes,” Councilman Tom Nader said, according to the Free Press, “I just don’t think this is the proper one.”
The idea that anti-gun sentiment would in some way alter the memorial from including the iconic symbol recognized universally as a spiritual remembrance of a fallen soldier is not sitting well with Bear Hall, the man who’s spear-heading the monument.
“Everyone’s thinking the same thing we’re thinking: We didn’t win the war by throwing sticks and stones,” the former Marine told the Free Press. Several veterans aren’t very tolerant of politicians trying to scrub any reference to a firearm from their war time heroics.
A hearing on the memorial’s design is scheduled for April 20th.