Veterans withdraw controversial poem, propose new inscription

The board of directors of the WNC Veterans’ Memorial has announced that they are withdrawing a controversial poem and instead proposing a new set of two inscriptions for the memorial, which is slated to be built on City/County Plaza.

“The Board of Directors of WNC Veterans’ Memorial points out that it wishes to avoid controversy regarding the Veterans’ Memorial,” the announcement reads. “The Veterans’ Memorial is dedicated to peace, liberty, freedom as well as veterans. Since hundreds of the public have donated funds for consturction of the memorial, the board has worked very hard to please all of the communtiy.”

Asheville’s Public Art Board recently declared that the poem would need to be modified or replaced. In the announcement, the memorial’s board of directors say that “they, who have fought for the design and raised funding for the memorial for the past six years, will design the components of the memorial.”

The previous poem, “It is the Veteran” by Charles Province, had drawn criticism, with opponents claiming it was too militaristic and denigrated other professions, while supporters of the poem said it simply highlighted veterans’ contributions.

The memorial board now proposes the poem be replaced with two inscriptions, one on each pylon of memorial:

Dedicated to those who gave us
Peace, Liberty and Freedom
And To Those Who Have
Preserved It

If we cannot do them honor
While they’re here to hear the praise
Then at least let’s give them homage
At the ending of their days.

— David Forbes, staff writer


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25 thoughts on “Veterans withdraw controversial poem, propose new inscription

  1. Gordon Smith

    I’m glad they withdrew the other one, but what’s up with their need to purport that people aren’t honoring the troops?

    Who are they talking about? “If we cannot do them honor / While they’re here to hear the praise”? Huh?

    Do they mean the underfunding of the V.A.?

    It’s all very confusing and unnecessary. Honoring veterans is easy, and we don’t need to have a complaint in order to do so.

  2. Chad Nesbitt


    Why don’t you just come on out and say it man.
    You hate the military. You can’t stand the FACT that there has not been a terrorist attack in the U.S.A. since 911. If there was, you Democrats would be dancing for joy in the streets just to say – “We were right! Bush was wrong!” like a bunch of 4 year olds.

    You can’t stand it that Bush was right!
    There were weapons of mass destruction. It’s the entire middle east. Along with trying to kill us they even try to kill their own.

    “If we cannot do them honor
    While they’re here to hear the praise”
    You and your liberal friends need to look around.
    Your party “cannot do them honor” all the time.

    No wonder the Veterans are upset.
    Go USA!,USA!, USA!, USA!, USA!

    Chad Nesbitt

  3. Chad Nesbitt


    Glad to see you and Bill Fishburne are “good friends”. I’m sure he is just thrilled!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS – I’m praying for you little Timmy

  4. NCHarleyHardtail

    Hi Chad one of Matt Mittans Cavdwellers here.I find it bizzare and but yet I respectfully say your right and Tim and Gordon well lets just say I picture these people with Little guy next to them hollaring Look boss Da Plane Da Plane.I am not from here I moved here 6 years ago. I am one of those Yankees from the Hampton Beach ,NH. How can I get this terms they can understand. Respectfully I say they are clueless!
    I am also a musician and I just find it amazing that Tim throws this picture up on his blog about John Lennon.(By the way who is one of the most brillaint artists in history.)Has it occurred you Tim there is reason he was able to express his thoughts and his music. You are just playing a game here Tim. You know why. Cut the BS.
    as far as an Art Board telling Veterans what they can and can’t have is crap as well.It is just to bad they are playing that same game. I look around Asheville I see art pieces all over the city. See these people are in the drivers seat just. Imagine if through history we did not stand up and fight the fights and someone said oh no you are not putting that piece of art in the city. You’d be pretty ripped. We all make desicions right or wrong. Mine was to go and serve as many others have.. This hate Bush ,Hate War agenda is fine ,but you do not have to make everyone kiss your butts,and make a group of people suffer because your calling the shots here. What you are doing to the Veterans is what Veterans stood up to keep this country free of . The Key word here is FREE. It has taken to long to get that poem and Monument in Asheville. From my vantage point you people and your running the show is a perfect example of what it would be like to not have the freedoms we have. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Your so wrapped up in your hate war and agenda that it is a game of it is my ball and if you do not play my way I am taking the ball and going home. Sad very Sad. Chad well said as well. Imagine on 9/11 if the local 7-11 put a sign in the window praising Osama bin Laden. I wonder what these peoples reaction would be then. Well spoken Chad!! And Timmy groovey glasses Little more hair you would look like John Lennon!! Just my half a cents worth

  5. “And Timmy groovey glasses Little more hair you would look like John Lennon!! Just my half a cents worth”

    ‘Arugmentum ad hominem.’ You lose.

  6. Gordon Smith

    Chad and friends,

    Hate? You’re talking out of your hind-ends, fellas.

    I’ll repeat this, read it more slowly this time, so you don’t miss the point again:

    I’m glad they chose a different poem because a poem honoring veterans doesn’t have to complain about or subjugate others. I’m very proud of our U.S. Military, of course. Jumping up and down and telling me I’m hating anybody is just plain silly, and though it’s kind of fun to watch you do it, I thought you’d be more interested in telling the truth than pushing some distorted version of reality you’ve created.

    Thanks for being so passionate. I dig that about you.

  7. Rob Close

    omg chad is so ridiculously funny…

    “You can’t stand the FACT that there has not been a terrorist attack in the U.S.A. since 911”.

    Only a total bigoted ass like Chad would consider using such a ridiculous argument. To even say such things about a fellow American…that’s disgustingly wrong.

    And personally, even though some of my best friend’s in Asheville are old & young veterans, I believe that their specific efforts in the Military have made our country less safe. Please note though, this is a matter of POLICY that I disagree with, and as such, wishing that our military would be more moral in it’s actions does NOT MEAN that I wish to see our country destroyed by attacks. It means I wish our country acted like we actually cared about creating open, transparent democracies. But we align ourselves with thugs & kings while overthrowing democracies around the world. Especially South America.

    So Chad: Are we such a great and righteous people? Do you truly believe that, in your lifetime, our country has done no wrong? Are all those who question our actions automatically bent on our destruction?

    A silly question. Of course you’ll come up with some total B.S., if anything. I mean, I’ve been hearing conservatives saying for years that people who are for peace are against our country and want to see us destroyed. And it’s utterly stupid. These are Americans who are attempting to peacefully philosophize about how to keep our country great; and instead of intelligent reasons being given why we’re wrong, passions flair to incriminate us as anti-patriotic.

    Do you want to know why we fight against this particular attitude so hard? It’s because, historically, these patriotic drums of war you pound so loudly have heralded Fascism. A permanent state of righteous, pre-emptive war where governments merge with corporate power. Luckily we haven’t seen anything like that in the last 7 years, have we?

  8. Chad Nesbitt


    You said “I thought you’d be more interested in telling the truth than pushing some distorted version of reality you’ve created.”

    Nothing distorted here.
    I put the truth up on our website.

    Am I distorted or did your liberal friends just go down to the local recruiting station and spray paint all the windows?


    You might want to check this site out

    All your buddies are over there.

    Chad Nesbitt

  9. Chad Nesbitt


    Thanks. Watch for our poker run for the Veterans.
    We will ride.

    Chad Nesbitt

  10. NCHarleyHardtail

    Rob what do you mean Morale??? A war and morale? Rob perhaps you missed 9/11. Spout that fertilizer some place else. So there is morale value. If so explain why your not talking about peoples heads being chopped off. Why are you not screamimg about concentration camps where people were held.How about mens heads on the ends of shovel handles. You and Tim have been doing the Jane Fonda Work Out to long. Real reality shows are not on TV.You 2 are just clueless. And Timmy it is fine you are so well educated you can correct me in my last statement. Just remember who the Stand Up men and women are for those freedoms so you can have that ability!!! When you have been to the other side of the fence Tim and Rob. I would then have more respect if your opinons were then the same as they are at the moment. Chad you can contact me through Matt.Just my half a cents worth!

  11. NCHarleyHardtail

    Jason Bugg my old inline hockey bud LTNS great to see you

  12. Rob Close

    That was a great photo-gallery, chad, though i was dissapointed by some of the commments. Still, an oddly enjoyable website to browse. Here’s why the person who runs it is an idiot though.

    Here’s a line regarding a KKK rally in California, referring back to a message of “join the U.S. army, and get to fight for Israel”.

    “But then why — when the exact same messages are displayed at left-wing rallies — does the media not produce news reports exposing the anti-Semitism of the “peace movement”? ”

    Here’s why, and I think clarifications like this are very important for Bigots to understand. The KKK is against our supporting Israel because they are bigots who are universally against the Jews. The anti-war movement is against our blind support of the Israeli state mostly due to their treatment of Palestinians as non-people. Do you understand? The KKK hates Israel because it’s run by Jews. The Left is annoyed with Israel because we see some of their actions as hypocritical, or war-mongering. One group is protesting out of hate, the other out of love. If you can’t see that world of difference – well, may I suggest reading the Bible? I’ve read it cover to cover, thank you, and there seemed to be some theme about being peaceful and letting God do the killings & judgings. Because if you actually believe in God, then you know that he doesn’t need your help, and that you can’t hurt God’s “feelings”. And if you actually believe in Jesus, then you believe that peace is greater than war.

  13. NCHarleyHardtail

    I thought this forum was about the Veterans poem but seeings your on this subject. If some came up and slapped heck out of you would you defend yourself Rob? I am curious.

  14. Rob Close

    I said Morals, not Morale. Those 2 words mean different things. Learn to spell. Then again, if you’re a Stomper, I’d expect Illiteracy. Pegan-haters, ha! But if meant “war and morals”, well, do you think we should follow the Geneva Convention or not? As a nation, are we really above the law? We hold enemies in places where we claim our laws have no jurisdiction – so how did the decide we could put them there to begin with?

    And why am I not screaming about those things? Because they’d be red-herrings in this thread. But nice try. Acting like I don’t care about travesty’s, pff, same sort of misrepresentation that I expect when people don’t want to argue the facts.

    For the record: Just because our soldiers have done great things does not mean we are excused from doing horrible things. Defending our own immoral actions by referencing irrelevant great actions is missing the point entirely. And I was in founders, UNCA, on 9/11, I sure didn’t miss it. But I was never so naive as to believe that it changed everything. It didn’t change right from wrong, only the lies used to hide those wrongs.

  15. Rob Close

    you don’t need to defend yourself from a slap. so no. i’m not that childish.

  16. NCHarleyHardtail

    Rob my point about a slap or challange or what ever is you defend yourself and yeah I am just stupid X AirForce 100% disabled Vet. So Rob when you have done the walk you can talk the talk. And I apoligise for not checking my spelling on the Moral word my mistake. It was what I meant was moral. My mistake. however I still respectfully do not agree.

  17. Rob Close

    i have not been on the other side. but i’ll leave this thread at this: having heard and seen all the stories from my veteran friends, i would never want to be. supposedly our military is the greatest in the world because we care most about the individual soldier’s life. but to hear about how indiscriminately we kill civilians over-seas – and we cover up as much of it as we can, because P.R. is greater than the truth.

    when our boys mow down a family of farmers in the fields because they ‘might have been planting bombs’, it’s ‘unpatriotic’ to rat out a fellow soldier. even if you believe they were hopped up on cocaine, or have been seeing it used by the majority of your company. either way, one speaks up at their own peril. there seems to be no place for morals in war, only the mission. (the worst stories have come from army & marine vet’s; on the flip side, i haven’t heard anything bad yet from anyone in the air force, only good things [well, not the food])

    hearing stories like these from vet’s, how can i possibly support our continued presence, or believe we’re a moral force for good? We’re there to cover our own asses. The Iraqi Parliament won’t ratify for our continued presence, yet our president breaks the democracy, constitution, and laws that our boys have fought to give them, in order to maintain the status quo. The attacks are largely directly at us, so how will they ever stop as long as we are there? They won’t. Our presence is a self-fulfilling prophesy ‘we have to stay there until the violence ends…’

    there’s my link for ya’ll. it’s to explain that “bush breaking the law” thing up above. very recent.

  18. Rob Close

    oh, and sorry if i called you stupid over a mis-spelling. that’s still some left-over anger i have at Chad regarding the Elaine Lite add.

    paying money to denigrate a religion, and can’t even spell it right. reminds me how G.W.Bush used to pronounce “sadam” as “sodom” to piss the bastard off. but Chad wasn’t being smart, just ignorant.

    then again, if it’s your faith to be intolerant…then by hating on you, aren’t i being intolerant? Nah; intolerant faiths are invalid hypocrisy’s that distort great truths, and it’s my job to piss on them. Patriotism is a tool used to make masses think killing is OK, and that violence works; but murder has always been wrong; God does his own work, and not trusting in that proves you have no faith.

  19. NCHarleyHardtail

    I respect your view even though I have very differnt view. Is good to generate a little passion :) Just for the record Rob I am not pleased with President Bush at all. So we are on the same page there I think!

  20. Dale Johnson

    Wow! That was an amazing and very personal conversation! You guys should really just exchange emails, and save server space for the Mountain Express.

    Oh, by the way, I think the sculpture just dosen’t look very good. It looks like the artist wasn’t very true to his (or her) own feelings, and tried to be politically correct. But, this is the USA and I’m entitled to freely speak my opinions!

    Dale Johnson, US Army, currently stationed in South Korea

  21. How about a poem that makes some acknowledgment of how it is the Soldier, not the children of the wealthy Weapon’s Manufacturers or Multi-Millionaire Politicians who die to preserve their financial stake in expanding empire?

    And I really thought Chad Nesbit’s comments were tongue in cheek.

    They are, right?

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