For those who served, no vacancies | Darn wright
Last updated 6/16/2023 at 11:34am
According to a post on the City of Mill Creek's website: "There is currently no additional space at this time. We will reopen the application process once the monument is able to be expanded."
In other words, there are no vacancies for the veterans or their families who wish to have a veteran's loved one's name forever chiseled into one of the current eight, approximately 6'4'' high, beautiful black basalt colonnade (pillars).
In May 2010, our city's veteran's monument was dedicated in order to perpetually honor those men and women who served our country in one of our five Armed Forces.
And it's not only a touching reminder we must ceaselessly honor those honorable women and men – the monument brought our community further honors when in 2011 the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals (WALP) bestowed their Grand Award Service Award to Mill Creek.
Why is the no vacancy sign figuratively posted on this heartwarming and emotional City of Mill Creek artful masterpiece?
Each of the eight columns has three sides, and on each side you will find 20 names (480 in all) with name, rank, military occupation, and the Armed Forces they served in.
And those 480 names have now taken up all the available space. But these honored veterans only represent a small number of the men and women who served, and many too many of those protectors made the maximum sacrifice for our beloved land of liberty.
Evidently, the lack of money and the lack of us veterans pushing to have our monument expanded are major factors for the NO VACANCY mention.
I determined that a common price for an eastern Washington, approximately 1,600-pound, three-sided, polished, open-pit quarried basalt colonnade is around $3,600. This price does not cover tax and transportation of these pillars from eastern Washington, or the work needed to raise the colonnades at Library Park.
In order to have a more accurate estimate for the pillars and the grounding of the six new colonnades, I will leave it to our Public Works and Development professionals. Then their finding should be turned over to the city manager, city councilmembers and the Mill Creek veterans monument advisory committee.
When I brought my goal to state Sen. John Lovick, a Coast Guard veteran, he was all in, but his first question was: "Chuck, why didn't you bring your project to my attention during the last legislative session? I could have had this tribute to our veterans put into the state budget."
He also said he will try to put this honorable project into a supplemental budget. He then suggested that some of our local business CEOs and other individuals could be willing to step forward and help bear the cost of this patriotic endeavor.
To commence and thrust forward, our city leaders should establish an exploratory monument committee and explore this question, after which this community committee should have their report back to our city leaders within two months after they received their assignment.
Needless to say, but I will: Please place my name on that committee's list.
As I discussed, the movement to have our veterans monument updated with more individuals more often than not has naysayers advising me: "It's too expensive, and the majority of our city councilmembers stonewall this idea or slow-walked until the idea is lost in time."
My answer to those defeatists: If I, and many of my veteran peers, would have let that happen in the first place, our city would have been deprived of this emotional and award-winning tribute to our veterans.
As we armed forces veterans know: When it can't be done, turn it over to us veterans.
Darn right, we who have served – and our loved ones and friends – have the power to move our city leaders to take down their symbolic NO VACANCY veterans monument sign and change the to a large neon flashing VACANCY sign.