Special to We Love DC from our friend, Lisa King
I’m not going to argue the politics of whether the Park Service or DC should control the World War I Memorial on the National Mall. I will say it’s a damn shame that we don’t have a national memorial to the Great War, and I wish the DC World War I Memorial got more attention.
And I can’t believe that the Memorial Day events – scheduled for this Sunday (May 19th) – fell victim to a $1,000 budget shortfall due to sequestration. (Though I understand this is where the politics might come in.)
In any case, to honor my cousin James who died in the Meuse-Argonne just days before the Armistice and all the others who served and never came home, I will be at the World War I Memorial on Sunday morning at 10:30 am with a wreath. Feel free to join me.
Agreed- as the President of the organization that led the cause to restore the DC Memorial and place statues in the abandoned woods I am deeply saddened by this. Even though our organization does not have deep pockets we did offer to help this event continue. Sadly it was to late. I am showing the film about this (documentary Persing’s Last Patriot) in Arkansas and the viewers simply cannot understand why DC would not share the empty woods for a common sense idea. Please let everyone know that our intention was absolutely in now way shape or form to take over or federalize the memorial. If the plan would have worked each year the DC Memorial would have served as a hub for this celebration. Perhaps even band performances like in 1931 could have occured as all were honored together. We would have and still could complete this concept but the DC Leadership needs to embrace it.
After seeing the film Pershing’s Last Patriot a documentary on the great war and the story of our last WW1 veteran Frank Buckes. It left me with great hope for this dream to still be accomplished. The film clearly explains that this memorial in DC is is there to remember your lost men and would not be changed in anyway. The DC memorial would serve as the central focus in this area, but the empty space around it in the woods could be used to create a support memorial to honor all the other veterans from the great war that are not represented on the national mall. Their sacrifice is just as great— and they deserve to have a place to be remembered too. It could be a beautiful place that unites a nation- make your voice heard to put politics aside and together let’s bring honor to ALL the men that gave their lives and served our nation.
I might do a road trip from Ohio to be there Sunday morning.