It’s not just vets who honor the flag

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
Asheville

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One thought on “It’s not just vets who honor the flag

  1. ted

    Soldiers really have not given us any of the freedoms mentioned in the poem. The forefathers who wrote the constitution gave us our freedoms by defining them in that document. Even a part of that document says that we were endowed by our “Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Soldiers have not given us our rights, but they certainly have given immensely of themselves to protect those rights. We may well not have had them today if they had not protected us. They certainly deserve our commemoration and a memorial for those efforts. I would think that… though certainly do not begin to think I speak for… any soldier would agree that protection has been their critical role.

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