The wall does heal; Put Planning Commission into art — Letters to the Editor, April 20, 2019

‘Truth’ is the first casualty in any war and has become unrecognizable by the time the first shot is fired

The ‘Wall That Heals’ does

Rand Dawson’s Letter to the Editor, “Wall Partly A ‘Whitewash’ Over Fuller Vietnam Truth” (April 13) caught me completely off guard. How could anyone, other than someone with an entirely negative view of America, form the notion that anything that has brought comfort to millions constitutes a “whitewash.”

All wars are caused by political deceit and ineptitude. ‘Truth’ is the first casualty in any war and has become unrecognizable by the time the first shot is fired.

Since ‘truth’ appears paramount to Mr. Dawson, perhaps he should begin by stating that Democrats Truman, Kennedy and Johnson were the escalators of the conflict. Truman in 1950 with aid to the French; Kennedy increasing troops to 16,000, supporting Diem’s assassination; and Johnson’s massive build up necessitating gutting Social Security to pay for both guns and butter.

In the interest of fairness, Eisenhower did send 700 or so advisers. Eisenhower warned us in his farewell add of the Military Industrial Complex. Kennedy ignored the British, who had tamed Malaysia and Charles de Gaulle, who warned U.S. involvement would result in “endless entanglement.”

Panel 3E, Row 56: Lt. John Lance Geoghegan. Army. KIA Nov 15, 1965. Ia Drang Valley. Attempting to save one of his injured men.

His daughter is 54 this year. She never knew her dad. I didn’t know Jack, but I know his story. Each time I visit the wall, I touch his name and hope his family is at peace with his sacrifice.

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” — George S. Patton

If one gives any credence to the Domino Theory, there are hundreds of millions living in freedom today who might otherwise be broken by the yoke of totalitarian government.

More than 3 million people visit the Wall every year from all over the world. Nearly half a million people have left mementos, some by Vietnamese refugees and boat people.

“The Wall That Heals” does.

—Ian Eales


Put Planning Commission back into art selection

How fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful community surrounded by trees, beaches, rivers and the magnificent Central Oregon Coast.  You couldn’t ask for more.  With so many individuals located here with diversified artistic talent, the idea of exhibiting local artwork reflecting our community in appropriate areas here in Florence is a fantastic idea.

It was evident that the Public Art Committee (PAC) invested many hours of time and effort on this project, and they are to be commended for their efforts.

With that said, what a disappointment it was for many of us at the March 18 City Council Meeting to discover that those who came to express their feelings that the mural was not a reflection of our community really weren’t heard.

This was, in fact, not the purpose of the meeting at all, but actually just for final approval of the land use.

Until the actual photo was published in the Siuslaw News, we believe that many people were not aware that the artwork had already been chosen. Most believed they had a say (pro or con) on the content of the mural.

This was evidenced by the sizable turnout at the meeting requiring a larger venue.

After the meeting, it was obvious that whatever we felt about the content didn’t matter.

Going forward, we feel the City Council needs to modify the approval process to include an opportunity for all the community to have a say on the artistic content of future proposed art displayed. The final selection process should not be limited to a few (three committee members and two at-large members.) Perhaps it’s time to return the Planning Commission back in the final selection, with appropriate information published in advance in the various medias.

We need to be more transparent with the community, especially those without access to the city website.

—Ray and Susan Grewe



More In Opinion