I'm writing to ask for Southern hospitality to some special fifth grade students from Ohio. For months, they have raised money to repair the little drummer boy on the Ohio Monument on Missionary Ridge. This Saturday, May 17, at 11 a.m., they'll be here for an unveiling of the restored monument.
The event is sponsored by the National Park Service and Friends of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. This means so much to these students, and I hope everyone here will show appreciation by coming to the ceremony.
Parking is available at McCallie School on Dodds Avenue. A shuttle service will leave at 10:45. Hope to see you there.
* * *
I would like to heartily congratulate the students from Ohio on their initiative and perseverance in raising the funds necessary to repair the Ohio Monument.
It’s great to see schoolchildren today take an interest in the history of their forebearers and what those men accomplished during the final hour or so during the battle of Missionary Ridge.
That being said, however, vandalism of the monuments to these veterans is widespread and not just relegated to Missionary Ridge.
Numerous plaques and pieces of these monuments, which were cast of bronze when they were originally created, are a favorite target of our local “thieves, crackheads and general low lifes” that inhabit our fair area.
It’s a shame that our community takes so little interest in these treasures that the “perps” are almost never caught and prosecuted.
I know it saddens me every time I go to the battlefield reservations and parks to see these missing plaques and to see more and more damage that the NPS has very little money to repair.
So hats off to the kids from Ohio for their efforts; they kind of make us locals look bad.
I kind of wish that one of the two 12-pounder howitzers that were pushed down last year on the Ridge had squashed the idiots that apparently didn’t realize that they weigh well over a ton apiece. Talk about poetic justice.
John T. Sanders