Letter: All veterans connect with Plaza monument


400-BERBEN-AT-VET-MONUMENTLetter: All veterans connect with Plaza monument

Ron Berben
St Augustine, FL

Dear Editor,

As a Marine veteran and a community activist, I would like to share my opinion about the manner in which the veteran’s monument at the corner of Cathedral Place and Charlotte Street, in the northeast corner of the Plaza de la Constitution, has been obscured by electrical transformers, utility meters, and other fixtures.

The simple monument has a powerful meaning that resonates with all veterans — not just the local soldiers who served during World War II, in Korea, or Vietnam, and whose names are engraved upon its panels.

In the last sixty-eight years, since the Pilot Club erected this monument, plenty has changed. I am disappointed that the monument was not taken into proper account until now.

The veteran’s monument deserves the same degree of respect we afford our other memorial pieces in the City of St Augustine. Adjacent, unrelated distractions of any kind, taking away from the original intention of the monument, to serve as a remembrance for our local heroes, should not be allowed. This is simply a logistical issue for the FDOT, FPL and other utilities.

Accommodating the modern alongside the historical has been of paramount importance throughout our city, and it always will be. We have to look to our city leaders to strike the proper balance between the two; so that we can be assured the right thing will be done.