As a veteran of the often-forgotten Korean War, I am pleased that a memorial to all veterans will be installed in the new Pack Square Park. However, I couldn’t agree more with [the article by] David Forbes [“The Writing on the Wall,” Nov. 7 Xpress] that the poem, “It is the Veteran,” is unsuitable as a part of this monument.
I would like to think that as a soldier, I made at least a modest contribution to the continued freedom and health of this nation. But I do not want to be “honored” by a poem that is a grossly offensive putdown to so many others who also made important contributions. With its tiresome repetitions (“It is the VETERAN, not the preacher … the VETERAN, not the reporter … the VETERAN, not the poet” etc.), this dreadful poem overstates the role of the military in giving us freedom of religion, speech, assembly and the right to vote.
Contrary to the poem’s message, we veterans are not the only ones who honor the flag, either, or who served under it in one way or another. Do we really want to hurl explicit insults at so many nonveterans who visit Pack Square Park?
I would like to see the WNC Veterans Memorial Board reconsider their decision and select a more appropriate inscription for the memorial.
— Dave Stewart