Quote on veteran’s memorial is unfitting

“To be prepared for war is the most effectual means to preserve peace.” These words, spoken by George Washington in his first inaugural address, are engraved in large letters across the main structure of one of Ames’ newest additions, the Veteran’s Memorial. Located at the corner of Fifth and Grand, the memorial is aimed at expressing gratitude to the veterans of Ames for their services. The WEB feels that this message is undermined by the unfortunate misusage of George Washington’s words. The quote was selected by the committee in charge of the memorial in order to unify the images, a dove and an eagle, presented on either side of the main structure. However, The WEB thinks that in efforts to “unify” the monument the entire message of the memorial was compromised. The quote does not honor or express an appreciation for veterans. In fact, it fails to mention them all together. Furthermore, it is taken out of context. Washington stated that preparing for war is one of the effectual means of preserving peace. These crucial words were emitted from the engraving. Washington’s words referenced what he considered “hostile Indian tribes.” In his farewell address, Washington warned against overgrown military establishments, claiming that they are “inauspicious to liberty.” The quote, as it is used in the memorial, promotes an almost opposite ideological stance, encouraging a militaristic attitude. In efforts to explicitly state its intended meaning, a feature was added to the original design of the monument. The inscription at the end of each walkway leading into the memorial now reads, “With deepest gratitude, we dedicate this memorial to honor all the veterans who served our country and to remember those who gave their lives so that this nation might live in peace and freedom.” The WEB finds these words to be meaningful and an accurate representation of the views of the Ames community. The shame lies in that this sentiment was not the highlighted aspect of the memorial. To a passerby what is most visible, what appears to encompass the memorial, is still Washington’s quote. The purpose of the memorial still seems to be advocating preparedness for war. The Ames Veteran’s Memorial is supposed to be Ames’s tribute to its veterans. It is supposed to summarize the feelings of Ames residents by honoring those who have served in wars and informing them of our gratitude for all their efforts. This important message is lost in the Ames Veteran’s Memorial. The WEB would like to say that, despite our disappointment toward the Ames Veteran’s Memorial, we truly honor and cherish all our veterans. Knowing that we could never fully understand their sacrifices, we appreciate all of their efforts. They are forever commemorated as heroes in our hearts.