Michigan – Monument Honoring Fallen Military Stirs Controversy
OMG the statue has a gun in it! That was the view of the town of Milford, Michigan, who seemed to be concerned that the proposed fallen soldier monument would not be “appropriate” for their city park. After much debate and being deluged with input from veteran’s groups, they finally approved the monument this week.
The monument, also known as a Battlefield Cross, is a common symbol used to commemorate fallen military personnel. The practice dates back to the civil war, and was once used to identify the dead. Today it is used as a symbol of respect for their compatriots who have died.
Bear Hall, from the Local Friends of American Veterans group approached the Milford City Council earlier in April for approval of the plan.
The Detroit Free Press wrote,
“The plan calls for an 8-foot-tall monument, including a 43-inch granite base matching the current memorial, topped by a 52-inch sculpture of the fallen soldier memorial: a bronze sculpture of combat boots, rifle – an M-16 – with dog tags and a helmet on top.
It’s the gun that has raised concerns among some members of the parks commission and the village council.”
Even though the council said they understood the meaning of the monument, they were apprehensive about placing it in the city’s central park, and denied approval. Many of the council members felt that the location of the monument was not appropriate, considering the gun and all…but one woman disagreed with them.
“If it wasn’t for the boots and the gun and the helmet, we wouldn’t have all the freedoms we have.” Councilwoman Jennifer Frankford
After the news of the council’s hesitation hit the news, they were flooded with input from local citizens, and veterans organizations. They wanted the fallen military memorial and they didn’t care if it had a gun in it.
The Inquistr wrote,
After the Michigan village council members heard from the veterans group, veterans, and military family members that raised all the funds to pay for the battlefield cross statute, they decided to approve the memorial. Friends of American Veterans raised about $12,000 for the memorial in about 90 days. Many of the donations for the veterans’ memorial came Milford businesses, Hall said.
“To deny the statue is to deny the truth about war, to deny our history and to deny our children the opportunity to ask meaningful questions as it relates to both,” Bear Hall said after the Milford Village Council meeting.