During the week preceding Memorial Day, just prior to a scheduled American Legion Memorial Ceremony, the village of Bridgeport erected in Monument Square a historical artifact, namely a portion of the railing from the Bridgeport Bridge which recently was demolished.
The problem, in our humble, collective opinion, arises because the location chosen for the artifact, which is substantial in size, is directly in front of and fewer than ten feet from the “Doughboy” Monument which has stood in the village for nearly one hundred years. The “Doughboy” honors the village’s fallen heroes who gave the supreme sacrifice in wars since World War I. During that long period, from its original location on the east side of Lincoln Avenue to its present location in Monument Square, it has stood alone and unobstructed as a hallowed memorial.
The decision to place the bridge artifact on this hallowed ground and to desecrate the honored monument is even more unconscionable when one considers that at least one half acre of available land could have been used for its placement, and it would have been much more visible to traffic and passers-by if placed in Monument Square directly west of the original bridge approach from Lincoln Avenue.
We applaud the Chamber of Commerce for the foresight and the expense involved in preserving the bridge railing as a significant piece of history for “The Gateway to the West”, but we seriously question the decision for placement. It appears that the decision was made without regard for reaction from military veterans who consider the site as hallowed ground or from the old established families of the village with names of relatives enshrined on the plaques on the “Doughboy”.
We urge Mayor Callarik, the Village Council, the Chamber of Commerce and any other parties involved in the placement decision to reconsider that decision and relocate the bridge artifact to another area of Monument Square. The “Doughboy” once again should stand without obstruction or impingement in its original glory.
For the Officers of American Legion Post 227 and the Veterans of the Vietnam War, Ohio Post 1:
Ronald L. Salvador
US Army, Retired