Veterans memorial merits support
The James Taylor Lansing Memorial Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and, in particular, its senior vice commander, Mike Howell, are embarking on a project worthy of wide participation and support.
"Lansing's Memorial to Veterans" is envisioned as a brick monument built in the shape of the Pentagon topped with flags of the United States, state of Kansas and city of Lansing. At the monument's five corners will fly flags of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.
Initial plans called for ground to be broken for the monument on May 1, Loyalty Day, a day dedicated by Congress "to the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom."
Delays at the site for the monument caused postponement of the ceremony, which now is slated for Armed Forces Day, May 21.
The site - west of City Hall - has been selected. Plans are drawn for the monument. But now the real work gets under way in earnest.
The VFW is trying to raise $100,000 to build the memorial. Area businesses and civic groups are being urged to donate to the cause. Ordinary citizens also can help: The post is selling bricks that can be etched with the names of the donor or their designated veteran. The bricks will be used to build the monument.
Howell said last week that already, without a big push, about 25 bricks had been sold. That's a good start, but it's only a start.
If Howell and the VFW are to be successful in erecting the memorial in time for a Veterans Day 2005 dedication, fund-raising is going to have to really take off.
The area's support of its veterans and active service members is, rightly, nearly unparalleled. Support of efforts to build a memorial to them is only fitting.