Lubbock Area War Memorial Controversy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/10/03

Lubbock Area War Memorial Controversy

There is controversy surrounding the Lubbock Area War Memorial where some people are claiming the brick prices are too much to pay for some. Dozens of people have voiced their opinions in the Letter to the Editor section of The Avalanche-Journal, criticizing the project.

"With their comments they were defacing the true concept of this memorial and that's personal to me," said Director of the Lubbock Area War Memorial, Denver Blanscett.

On December 11th, a letter appeared in the Letter to the Editor section of the Avalanche Journal. A Lubbock woman titled it, 'Veterans memorial criticized.' She called it a "rich veteran's memorial" and found it unfair because "there are disabled veterans living on very small pensions" who can't afford to pay the $125, she stated in her December 11th letter.

Blanscett says that's not completely true. "We do have a small fund available. We screen them heavily to see if they're really eligible for a veteran's brick that don't have the money. But then there's another issue. The letter goes on to say "those who gave the most (during war) may not be honored in Lubbock's veteran war memorial," she also stated.

The letters prompted other positive editorials saying the project was a great thing for Lubbock. Veterans agree the negative editorials were a let down from some of the public. "It really bothered me and it bothered other vets. They would come in here and say, 'I read so-and-so article', but we don't believe them and we want a brick," said Vietnam veteran James McCoy.

It costs $125 for both a citizen's and veteran's brick, but the brick's actual cost is $15 and the remaining $110 you're paying goes into the construction fund. Right now, Blanscett says they only have $550,000 and need about a half million more to complete the project.

"The concept of the memorial is to honor the men and women who died for this country, buy doing that, by purchasing a veterans brick, you are honoring them because you're supporting building this memorial," Blanscett said.

Blanscett says the most important part of constructing the wall is to honor those who died serving this country and have paid the ultimate price with their lives to be on the war memorial wall.

For more information, you can call the American Legion Post at 794-9006 or (click here).

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