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Plans To Demolish Vets Memorial Move Forward
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Veterans Memorial has moved one step closer to the wrecking ball. Franklin County Commissioners voted Tuesday to move forward with a plan to demolish the facility. Some local veterans remain upset by the countyâ€™s decision.
Even though the fate of Vets Memorial was sealed several months ago, some veterans came to the meeting hoping for a miracle. But it was not to be. The 60-year-old facility will be demolished says Franklin County Commissioner Paula Brooks.
â€œWe moved the new and improved Veterans Memorial facility further on,â€ Brooks said.
The commissioners voted unanimously to spend $587,000 to hire a firm that will draw up demolition plans. Afterward, several veterans said they were baffled.
â€œIt seems so stupid. Weâ€™re going to tear down a 4,000-seat auditorium.
â€œItâ€™s worth a great deal of money, and now theyâ€™re just going to tear it down. Seems kind of crazy.â€
But retired Army Major General Dennis Laich who chairs the military advisory committee for the new memorial says the old facility is outdated. He called for Central Ohioâ€™s veterans to unite around the new memorial and museum.
â€œI understand that thereâ€™s emotion and familiarity with the existing facility; it has served well. But I think at some point we as a veteranâ€™s community need to come together, recognize the benefits of the new facility and move on in a united way,â€ Laich says.
Commissioner Brooks says one of the roles of the new Vets Memorial will be to educate the public about the role and necessity of a strong U.S. military.
â€œAmerica needs to maintain our strength. In order to maintain our strength a democracy needs to educate its citizens. Thatâ€™s what this will do,â€ says Brooks.
But veterans advocate Sharon Lytle thinks the county is making a terrible mistake.
â€œItâ€™s a horrible decision. And it will impact not only this generation of vets, but also future generations who are currently serving,â€ Lytle says.
Demolition could begin as early as December.