Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Florida XIV

A couple of years back I was in Florida and I had read a newspaper story about a new memorial in Doral. I drove on over and found the site, a small but picturesque little park,
with a number of memorials already in place.

No matter how hard or or how long a looked I just could not find the Vietnam memorial.

I noticed that the park was enclosed by a high chain link fence that was covered in canvas, so I peeked through a hole in the canvas to discover a cemetery on the other side of the fence. I figured that was it, the memorial was in the cemetery. I drove around to the entrance a few blocks away and talked to the folks in the office. Nope, no Vietnam memorial here.

I drove back to the original site and pulled out my phone to check the article I'd seen to see if Ii had made some kind of a n error. Nope, this was the spot. Somewhat confused, I tracked down the paper and called them and was put in touch with the reporter who wrote the story.

He explained that he was a stinger and had actually never seen the memorial but wrote the story based upon some info he had been forwarded.  He, too, had no idea what was up, but he gave me the number of his contact at the Doral City Hall.

I called City Hall and made contact with the contact. She explained that the city had "staged" the whole event so that they would have the story written and the photographs taken and ready to go when the memorial was actually dedicated a few months in the future.

Yep, they had brought in the statue, the military, the scout troops the whole shebang to create the story. Then the statue was removed and everybody went hoe to await the actual event.

I was surprised by all this, but relieved that I wasn't losing my mind. I would venture a guess that this is common preparation for many stories.

So, a while back I returned to Florida and, among the other memorials, I found the one in Doral, complete and in place.

An added bonus, for me, is that it was created by Richard Arnold, a sculptor from Colorado, whom I have spoken to a number of times. He is the one that created the memorial in Mobile Alabama, Colorado North Face in Fruita, and Iberville, Louisiana, all seen elsewhere on the A Means to Heal. I am sure I have more memorials of Richard's than any other sculptor on this site. He is a 'Nam vet and is deeply involved in remembrance.

Next time, on the July 1st, we will take another look at Georgia, so, as always, join me there at 9:00am.

To see additional memorials from Florida, or any other state, click on the state name on the left side of this page,

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