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Letter to editor: Moving sacred Memorial in Roswell a disgrace to Vets

June 03, 2014
Dear Vietnam Vets and Vets of all the wars you've fought to protect our liberty and freedoms:

After yesterday's 8 a.m. meeting with the Roswell Mayor and Council, a number of Vets and other interested individuals contacted me about my comments on the meeting.

Foremost in my mind, since the Mayor chose to so rudely call me a liar concerning the Covenant the Vietnam Veterans Committee, the City of Roswell, including the Recreation Parks Department, made concerning the Faces of War Monument and Memorial Park, let me address that.

The Mayor said because there was no written agreement, it was not a binding Covenant.

Not being trained as a loophole-seeking attorney, only as a licensed architect/master planner with national accreditation, I went to another authority on Covenants. Daniel Webster defines "covenant" as a binding and solemn agreement to do or keep from doing a specific thing – does not mention it has to be in writing.

This is a binding and solemn agreement between the City of Roswell, the original Vietnam Veterans Committee, and the City's Recreation and Parks Department (which Joe Glover is aware of). One of the active Nam Vets on that committee was Michael Sullivan, a prominent attorney and, at the time the Covenant was made, the head of the City of Roswell's Legal Department.

I will admit no one involved in their wildest imagination thought their sacred Memorial would ever be moved, and the bloodstained brick walkways crisscrossing the Memorial Park would be disinterred to make way for a treeless party space. Final point - I don't know many folks interested in a better view of the backside of City Hall – most people I know are much more interested in what goes on inside. This is not a battle the valiant Vets and their dead buddies should have to be fighting for.

Zachary W. Henderson

Faces of War planner/architect

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Tags: Community & Outreach

  1. report print email
    Veteran Memorial
    June 04, 2014 | 01:31 PM

    The Lord Mayor of Roswell and his Cabinet might do well to remember they are elected, and can just as easily be un-elected.

    The Faces Of War Memorial was dedicated as a memorial to those who have served, and those who have died for this Country. It is sacred ground.

    Perhaps The Lord Mayor of Roswell should confine himself to what he does best - posing for photo ops.

    S.H. Bond
  2. report print email
    Faces of War Memorial and the City Green(less)
    June 04, 2014 | 07:31 PM

    I was present when Mayor Jere Wood called Mr. Henderson a liar. I was stunned but not surprised since he called me a liar at the Open Forum on the fifth Monday in April.I was reminding the Veterans, who were present, to not get complacent and think that their sentiments and grief that they shared with us had made a difference to the Mayor, Council or the DDA because it didn't. The Mayor ranted, threw a temper tantum and screamed that I was lieing. He turned off my microphone and left the room. I concur with Mr Henderson, the City Green might be the new Orange...after all the Vietnam Veterans are now dying from the effects of Agent Orange which was used to defoliate trees and forest. And that is what the city is trying to do with this gift of an urban forest - except now they are calling it a City Green. Remove the trees, move the Memorial and everything will be allright...because when was the last time you heard anyone say " let's find a place where there is no shade so we can get together"? I, too checked the definition of covenant and one of the examples was God's covenant with the Israelites.
    I sure hope they got a copy of that contract. I have created a design for this property (I am not a professional)but I worked with an architect that achieves many of the goals of creating a more user friendly space but my plan removes only 6 trees, leaves the Memorial in its dedicated place and moves the WWII memorial to more dignified place. I was given 3 minutes to present my plan last week. The DDA side got 117mins. Seems like something is going on with this plan that doesn't pass the smell test.

    janet h russell
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