Memorial shouldn't mar unique National Mall
I am writing in responds to the Sept. 1 article "Group gets chance to stop memorial." I agree with the World War II Memorial Society's wanting a memorial and believe it time we do something about it, however I couldn't be more strongly opposed to it being placed on the Mall.
I had the privilege of being on the Mall during the bicentennial celebration of the Smithsonian, and it was absolutely magical. That day I met people from all over the world, not just our country, and 100 percent of them shared my excitement. While talking to a couple from Japan on their honeymoon, they just couldn't get over how this much space in a city of this importance could be dedicated solely for public gatherings. How wonderful it is that so many people from all over the world can gather here, they said. This place is like no other in the world, and I know that because I've traveled much with my father's business, said the husband.
I spoke to a man from Nairobi who found it astonishing so many people would be allowed to freely gather in public at a place this size. He was impressed and told me he was envious of the American people. I can't tell you how proud I was.
I have to question the proponents of the memorial who say that their opponents have a political agenda, considering the way this project is being ramrodded down our throats. It sounds to me as if they want it finished before the opposition can do anything, rather than follow the steps Congress long ago put into law concerning the building of monuments.
In speaking to a World War II veteran I knew -- he is long deceased -- I learned how proud he was to have defended freedom. He firmly believed that this was the greatest place in the world to live because we are free. Free to go where we like. Free to speak as we like. Free to vote for our leaders. And for me, the most important freedom of all, the freedom to peacefully assemble. The Mall in Washington D.C., is that place for the entire country.
Where else but that Mall can we voice our opinions on whether or not our government is doing what we want them to do? What better place to celebrate the great accomplishments we, the people, achieve? Can there ever be a place like this anywhere in the world but here, where the governed and those who govern can meet? I say, no. If freedom for the world had a crown, surely this would be one of its jewels so let's not cut it up into unusable little patches of stone.
CityFest worthy of greater newspaper coverage
I was quite surprised to see how little publicity the recent CityFest received from The Vindicator. I read an article about it ahead of time in The Vindicator.
I have always loved going downtown ever since I was little and thought CityFest would be fun to go to. Apparently, CityFest hadn't been held for a few years. It had been successful in the past. This was a last chance effort, and part of the reason for having it was to show there were things to do in Youngstown. My feeling was that The Vindicator supported it fully as it often does community events.
I was surprised to see no articles or even pictures of the event while it was going on. This type of publicity would have increased attendance. I just don't understand this lack of support. I knew for sure you'd see plenty about the Canfield Fair (which I also happen to love).
My family and I attended CityFest on Sunday until 4 p.m. and had a good time. However, at 1 p.m., there were perhaps 50 people there besides the workers. It was a sad thing to see so few people at a fun event. If we hadn't asked various vendors, we never would have known that Friday and Saturday were successful. I think more coverage would have added to the momentum of enthusiasm and would have brought more people downtown.
I read in The Vindicator, after the event, that it was considered a success. I'm very glad but felt that there was a major gap in coverage.