Lewiston’s Veterans Memorial Park has taken a turn against purpose and community.

This park was a gem that brought everyone to admire the Great Falls. A place where people could meet and have events, celebrating our community. A place where kids and adults could play.

But in the past 10 years it has turned into a shrine for glorification of war. The original stone monuments were well placed and faithfully recognized each individual’s service. Their service is being disrespected due to recent additions. We can have green space, we can cherish the falls, and we can recognize our veterans. The current direction of the park is none of those.

When someone local or otherwise drives through town, the greatest natural treasure is barely glimpsed behind our glorification of war. Hidden are the stones of our families who sacrificed. They sacrificed for freedom of speech, to protect a beautiful America (among other things) and democracy: three ideals that are being trampled on with a bomber, a jeep, and a canon. Items without any redeeming qualities or local connections.

What little open space we have is steadily being supplanted by individuality and tools of death. As a community we need to do some soul searching as to what we value. Do we value our veterans’ service, or war itself? I thank veterans for their service, not the tools of death.

Noel Madore, Lewiston

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