+ Patriotism is dying
To have the city of Sarasota art snobs turn down the Iwo Jima statue is a lesson in what really matters to this town’s leaders.
What matters (to the leaders) is having something as useless as an empty picture frame titled “art” as it frames the comings and goings of water traffic; or a pile of cars dancing to the tune of a horrible accident. What matters is a tangle of wire of which no one can guess its purpose.
What doesn’t matter is the lives given so our flag could be raised in all its glory on a foreign land or that it wasn’t white, brown, black, yellow or red, but a combination of brave men who thought our flag worth raising. What doesn’t matter is the beauty of our brave men and women fighting to save other brothers and sisters across the oceans. What doesn’t matter is that so many of those soldiers gave their lives before they reached their 21st birthdays.
What does matter is “art” no one understands, although the real snobs will swear they do. What matters is a red metal horse that destroys the real beauty of the animal; squares tilted up on one corner are considered art, while the real beauty of a homecoming is tainted by a reader as “a sailor forcing himself on a nurse.” Trust me, that nurse was as thrilled as the sailor to hug and kiss everyone in sight when the war ended and those left alive returned home.
My dad served in the Navy, and, although he stayed stateside, uncles on both sides of the family went to the worst areas. One came home with frostbite on his feet and the skin falling off his toes; he was the lucky one. Another came home with the indelible picture seared in his mind of a child bathing in a tub. The “water” was blood and entrails from the enemy. That uncle left a happy-go-lucky young man and returned mired in alcoholism and nightmares that never ended.
These men and all the others deserve better than to have the statue that represents how this country strives to preserve freedom and defeat tyranny discarded as though it’s less than a piece of trash.
Sadly, patriotism is dying in this country and it seems to be fading in Sarasota, too.