Stripping park honors from our veterans

To the editor:

Armed Forces Day was established by President Harry Truman as a day to come together to commemorate our military service members for their patriotic service in support of our country. This year, we marked Armed Forces Day on May 19.

Yet that same week the Las Vegas City Council chose to honor military personnel by renaming two parks dedicated to this country’s heroes (May 17 Review-Journal). Freedom Park, dedicated to recognize all who have served in the military, was renamed Gary Reese Freedom Park in favor of the former city councilman. Doolittle Park, named after American war hero and Medal of Honor winner Gen. Jimmy Doolittle after his family donated the land for the park, was renamed Kianga Isoke Palacio Park at Doolittle Complex for local civic activist.

At a time when the United States is still heavily engaged in combatting serious threats overseas, involving numerous military personnel, we must do more to recognize this service and sacrifice – the history of both the individual, Doolittle, and group service – not alter, dilute and strip away the singular meaning of important monuments and dedications.

Full disclosure: I am a veteran, I am a member of VFW Post 1753, and I served as a member of the City of Las Vegas Community Development Review Board from 2002 to 2008. I was appointed by Mr. Reese, who I consider to be honest and deserving of accolades, but not at the expense of a veterans memorial or honor. A more sound approach would be to recognize these deserving individuals with upcoming projects. Nor is the flawed public justification of Mr. Reese’s honor provided by former Councilman Michael McDonald – “He was never controversial” – acceptable.

Add this to the fiasco surrounding the proposed veterans memorial slated for Ward 3 that was recently disowned and then planned for another ward. In this arena, the city of Las Vegas could improve dramatically.

In stark contrast, a Strip resort continues its public support and recognition of wounded veterans during the week of Armed Forces Day.

Martin Dean Dupalo

Las Vegas

This plane won’t fly

To the editor:

The spirited back and forth on your letters to the editor page about how teacher salaries are established ignores the larger reality. Trying to run highly politicized government schools with trade unionists posing as teachers is like trying to make a Cessna draped with anchors fly.

Unionized teachers and government education bureaucrats distract from the central design flaw of public education with endless prattle about “school reform,” as though rearranging the anchors or putting a better propeller on the airplane would make it fly.

It is not preordained that government should provide education. Politicians elbowed their way into education relatively recently in our nation’s history. Teachers and other public employees were allowed to organize in return for providing political muscle and money to select groups of those politicians.

As long as this lash up dominates the school system, no amount of fiddling around the edges will deliver anything but a deeply flawed product.

Lynn Muzzy


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