Fort Collins City Council member Diggs Brown is spearheading a campaign to build a new monument, Veteran’s Plaza, in Fort Collins. He says:
This is a worthy project that will be here long after we are dead and gone. This will be here for generations. -Coloradoan, Nov. 8, 2008
But if history is any indicator, you probably will outlive this memorial. And the one after that: Our last two military monuments lasted 45 and 20 years, respectively.
Honor Roll Memorial stood at the corner of LaPorte and College from 1944 to 1993. We decommissioned it in 1989 because we built one we liked better at Edora Park.
Preservationists tried to save Honor Roll, but veterans complained that it was shabby and disrespectful. Besides, they argued, it is inappropriate to have two memorials.
Edora Memorial is our current and official monument to war dead. Did you even know we had a current and official memorial? It’s so out of the way– sometimes I think we’re buying the new memorial because we forgot where we left the the old one.
If veterans find the Edora memorial redundant after Veteran’s Plaza is built, Edora will have had a life span of ~20 years.
Veteran’s Plaza. At this rate, I give the new Veteran’s Plaza 9 years.
You can still visit the original Honor Roll Memorial, in a way. After it was dismantled, parts of it found a new home in front of the VFW on Lesser Drive.
A very fine post that shows what a local blog can do.
It seems odd to me, as a vet, to see FC building a war memorial around a statue of a soldier from the early 1940s — before even the grandparents of some of the newest CSU students were born.
If we want to emphasize the panoramic and noble history of the American serviceman, why not a statue of the Minuteman who began it?
If we want to emphasize the young vet, today, who volunteered and then emerged triumphant, in the face of loud prophecies of doom and calls to retreat from fellow countrymen, why not an Iraqi War vet with a child on his shoulder?
And if we really just want a WWII memorial, why not restore the first one?
If you’re interested, I could scan my negatives of a couple of photos I took in November of 1979, when there was an effigy of the Ayatollah Khomeini hanging from the memorial. One Sunday morning as the snow was melting off of everything, I took a walk around town and snapped black and white photos of a lot of the buildings I wanted to remember — the Strang Grain elevator, the Reliable Linen laundry, businesses and houses around neighborhoods in the Laurel-to-Mountain area. I shot a couple of rolls.
Kip, I’m very interested in any old photos you have–especially in that time period before there was much gentrification going on. Send whatever you’re up to scanning. I’ll figure out how to make the negatives positives somehow.
You won’t need to fix the negatives. They come out as positives. I’ll look at what I have and decide where to start — I’m sure I have way more than you need. Thanks for your interest. (I didn’t see your reply before this for some reason. I’ll have to see if it’s going into a spam filter or something.)
I’m looking forward to seeing them! Thanks.
I loved the old one and went to it many times as a kid. As I recall there was a “Wild West Stage Coach” in a small building next to it, is that still there? Thanks for any reply’s.