• October 22, 2014

Killeen reader questions need for large memorial to shooting victims

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Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2014 4:30 am

To the Editor:

I have to respond to recent articles in the paper because frankly, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it — beginning with (Killeen) Mayor Dan Corbin’s criticism of the community for failing to cough up over $400,000 for a memorial to the 13 people killed by Nidal Hasan.

I’ve spoken with several individuals to get their take on the subjects. Civilian and military alike agreed that it’s absurd to spend this much money when for less than $5,000 a nice plaque could be displayed as a tribute and a reminder of what happened.

But in true political fashion, throwing money at a problem is always the answer. As is photo sessions, ground breaking, hand-shaking, back-slapping and big old fake smiles. Enough already!

Tearing down a perfectly good building because something tragic happened is also wrong. For those who haven’t lived here very long, back in the early ’90s, 23 people were killed at Luby’s Cafeteria. It was at the time the biggest mass murder in the country’s history. We didn’t erect a memorial. We didn’t tear down the building.

Civilians and military alike grieved the loss of friends and family. But time heals all heartaches. When the community was ready, that building was remodeled and reopened. It’s now the Yank Sing restaurant.

In the same edition of the paper, another article brought to light that the city has some 400 homeless people. The $425,000 could probably build a decent shelter to help people put their lives back together. You decide.

About the issue of re-directing unused funds for another purpose — so what if there’s money left over (from the city’s 125th birthday celebration)? It doesn’t have to be spent! Save it until it’s needed for something vital. To the council members who think we don’t mind when money raised for one cause is used for another, you’re wrong.

In closing, I’d like to say that this military enjoys more respect and support than any other time in my life. I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud to have served and I’m proud to support those who serve now. Thank you!

Bill Paquette

Killeen

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