Tuesday, July 16, 2013 —
Born just after World War II, to a war veteran, I grew up in the shadows of uncles and cousins who were WWII vets. Many Saturday nights were spent sitting by the fireplace, listening to their war stories of the places they were sent, what they had to endure and what they witnessed. They are my heroes. It is because of what they and U.S. military veterans since, have or are suffering, that I do what I can for any veteran who calls upon me. They have made me and they drive my life.
When we allow administrators to tear down or remove the word “Memorial” from such institutions as Raleigh’s War Memorial Auditorium, Gastonia’s Gaston Memorial Hospital, or Albemarle’s Stanly Memorial Hospital, I ask, “what does the word “memorial” mean? Does it mean in memory of something or someone worth remembering, or does it mean selling out to the highest bidder?
Does this mean that we are to forget just so we can bring in more money? If that’s the case, why don’t we dig-up our war dead and throw their remains and grave markers on a bonfire? Then, those burial plots could be re-sold for even more money. After all, the price of land is going up.
When Stanly Memorial Hospital was changed to Stanly Regional Medical Center, what was the justification for deleting the word “Memorial” from its name? If this newest buy-out by Carolinas Healthcare Systems results in yet another name change, I suggest CMS Stanly Memorial, or Stanly Regional Memorial Medical Center.
Many years ago, in a conversation with a Princeton college student, we were discussing honoring our veterans. He offered, “Yeah, yeah … but what have they done for us lately?”