On the front page of Tuesday's Oct. 6 NewsTribune and Ottawa Daily Times is a picture of the Ottawa "Dedicated War Memorial" to those city soldiers who had served honorably in our United States Armed Forces, protecting our way of life. Inscribed in the center of this memorial it states:
"Dedicated to the men and women of our community who served our country
World War I
World War II
Rest in Peace."
On the right side it states: In support of our military personnel in the Middle East.
On each war panel are the names of those soldiers who had served and are deceased. This hallowed ground is sacred.
It is not to be used as a backdrop for any photo opt for the personal gains of individual groups, commercial activities, or political agendas. In fact, in the front of the stage of the "War Memorial" is a sign that states:
"This is a Memorial to Our Veterans, no Skateboarding, Loitering or Commercial Activities, Please Be Respectful."
When I saw the picture of educated teachers and union personnel using for a stage the "Veterans Dedicated War Memorial" in order to gain support for the Ottawa High School teachers' strike, I was appalled. Never in my lifetime did I ever think I would see any group of educated American citizens in our Illinois Valley disgrace any of our "Dedicated War Memorials." Are there no values or morals left? Have we lost all respect for our war dead? Are our personal gains more important than showing total respect for our "Dedicated War Memorial" and the "Hallowed Ground" in which they are placed? Maybe in our classrooms it should be taught why there are memorials and why they deserve our total respect. I hope I never see such activity again.
Martin J. Rue, Superintendent
VAC of La Salle County