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Your Opinion: Museum studies future for military statue

Your Opinion: Museum studies future for military statue

September 8th, 2013 by Lt. Col. (ret.) Bill Ratliff, Missouri Army National Guard, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

The Missouri Society for Military History has been quietly conducting a feasibility study of whether to someday, maybe, possibly consider moving the Spanish-American War statue now located on Missouri Boulevard. The study is in its early stages but here are a few things being considered:

• Very few people in Jefferson City or Cole County have ever stopped to look at the statue. Even fewer know the history of Missourians and the Spanish-American War.

• Commercial development is gradually encroaching on the park and the statue. The easiest way to describe its location is to say "next the Staples and across the street from Steak n' Shake," which is not the deferential spot originally envisioned to honor the young men in that long-ago war.

• Today, the most frequent visitors to the park are people eating lunch in their cars and periodically youth who gather there to plan other activities.

Among the ideas put forth on what to do with the statue (and there are a lot of them):

• Replace the jet fighter at the entrance to the Ike Skelton Training Site with the statue.

• Use the statue as the centerpiece of a memorial honoring all Missouri National Guard personnel, past and present. (Amazingly, there is no memorial to the MONAG at state headquarters).

• Sell bricks with the names of deceased former Guard personnel and create a Walk of Honor up to the statue as part of the memorial.

• Hold annual remembrance services at the memorial as new bricks are unveiled.

• Place the statue at the entrance of the soon-to-be built National Guard Museum.

These are just a few of the things being considered. Although some city and county officials are already on record against moving the statue, our study will continue and we will eventually present our findings and recommendations to the adjutant general. We do not know if the statue will ever be moved, but we think doing the study is worth the effort.