Re: "Stunned Veterans Ponder Next Move in Quest for Memorial" (Times, April 30).
Recently the Cultural Affairs Commission heard arguments from representatives of the International Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Friends of the Friendship Bell, an ad hoc citizens group dedicated to preserving the integrity of the Korean Bell of Friendship. The commissioners unanimously rejected the placement of a revised, more violent version of the International Korean War Veterans Memorial adjacent to the bell.
I agree with their decision. It is inappropriate to place a statue of oversize soldiers firing weapons in a park dedicated to friendship between nations. A park where young children play. A park whose theme heretofore has been one of serenity, reverence and the peaceful enjoyment of ocean and harbor vistas.
For nearly three years the proponents of the memorial were led to believe they had taken all the appropriate steps toward approval. If only someone had thought to invite public input early in the process, the vets would not now feel rejected by an ungrateful citizenry. They would not have wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars. And patriotic Americans like myself who oppose this design at the Korean Bell site would never have been portrayed as anti-vet, anti-everything rabble-rousers.
The real tragedy is that too many good citizens with honest feelings have been turned against each other.
chairman, Friends of the Friendship Bell