Apparently, my last Letter to the Editor was upsetting to at least one of your readers. Kitty Chen Dean charged right past the substance of my letter and seized upon the fact that yes, I do occasionally stop to smoke a cigar in the Memorial Circle, (the last time was in September of 2013.) While I admit that most people may not enjoy the smell of a cigar, many people do enjoy the aroma of a cigar, even a few non-smokers. But I must say, that I have never met anyone who preferred the smell of dog feces to that of a cigar, but then I have never met Ms. Chen Dean.
This individual has made a comparison between the palatability of cigars and dog feces and inexplicably, feces came out on top! The narrow focus of her letter leads me to believe that she just might bring her dog to the park each day to empty its bowels and bladder upon the memory of our war dead. If this is the case, her defense might very well be, “I pick it up!” Yes you pick it up, all but the urine that permanently burns patches in the grass. But hey, I might be wrong altogether, maybe this person doesn’t have a dog at all. I must know, do you have a dog that you walk in the park Kitty?
When I visit the park I usually grab a seat in front of a tree dedicated to either Arnold P Fox or Alan Evans, two fine young men from our town who were killed in action during WWII. Arnold was KIA on 14 February 1943 and Alan was KIA on 3 Jan 1943. Sadly, Alan’s tree fell victim to Hurricane Sandy and there is nothing left but a stump. If the Parks Department would remove the stump I would be happy to pay for a replacement tree, but I digress. When I leave the park I always leave it a little cleaner than I found it. I pick up any beer cans, vodka bottles or food containers that I might find and take them to a litter basket on Beach 116th St, along with my cigar butt.
There have been other changes in the park besides the name. When the plaques were replaced several years ago the phrase Killed in Action was removed and replaced by the politically correct, Died in Action, as if these soldiers simply passed away in sheer terror as they faced the enemy. This terminology devalues the supreme sacrifice that was made by these brave young men and should be returned to the original, Killed in Action, lest we forget. But you see these considerations rate very low, if at all, with the Kitty Chen Deans of this world. All she sees here, or more properly smells here, is the smoke of one cigar rising up to heaven and that is enough to make her go kerflooey.
If you walk your dog in the Memorial Circle ask yourself this question; Would I walk my dog at the Washington Monument, or the Vietnam Memorial, or the WWII Memorial? If the answer is no, then you might want to ask yourself why. Intellectual honesty applies here.