Editor's note: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) plans to cut down most of the old growth forest on the grounds of Crown Hill Cemetery. The Indiana Forest Alliance has mounted a campaign to stop the project by contacting legislators. Find out more here.
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An Open Letter to My Local and State Representatives:
It has come to my attention that a monument is to be erected in honor of the veterans of the United States military at the North Woods of Crown Hill Cemetery. This sounds like wonderful sentiment and true to the design of Indianapolis. The Visit Indy website states, “Indianapolis devotes more acreage than any other U.S. city to honoring our nation’s fallen, and is second only to Washington, DC, in the number of war memorials...”
As a veteran and native of Indianapolis I am proud of this fact. What I am not proud of is the lack of care and attention to our nature and natural resources in Indianapolis and Indiana at large. The sacrifice of some of Indianapolis’ most precious old-growth forest for this project is an absurdity.
I question the immediate need of yet another monument in Indianapolis. Especially one that puts at risk the already fragile and mistreated ecosystem of my beloved city.
More importantly, a project with such a large price tag when so many veterans go without adequate medical support and care (20 veterans commit suicide per day, VA finding July 2016). My understanding is that a proper public announcement was not made prior to the initiation of this project. I call that the Environmental Assessment be re-published and a public hearing and comment period be held on this proposed cemetery. The project as it is proposed today is a dishonor to veterans, past and present, and to all life in Indianapolis.
Paul Humes (SSGT, Indiana ANG)