Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Migrants treat WWII war memorial like a public swimming pool

The title at Biz Pac Review says, "see what happens when they're confronted."

It's hot. There's a beautiful and alluring fountain. They take off their shoes and refresh. The children splash and play.

If statues of soldiers could talk they would say, "Aw bless. Come to my fountain and play. But the white guy, the Barney Fife of the bunch get upset. And he thinks we should be upset too.

It's disrespectful
It's for them, not for you.
You know this a memorial for the soldiers, right?
It's not for swimming.
Aw Jesus. It just pisses me off.
You know people are not supposed to swim here.
This is a memorial
It's disrespectful.
It's not supposed to be here.
These people should not be here.
It's disrespectful for my American soldiers.
You guys know this is a memorial for the soldiers.
It's not a swimming pool.
It's disrespectful to be swimming in this pool.
Ya know?
It's disrespectful to American solders that died.
To be swimming in this pool.
It's a memorial.
Not a swimming pool

Know what else is disrespectful? Creating a scene in solemn place of reflection on a day of remembering when people are relaxing at an actual memorial. Is there a rule in the Barney Fife handbook that insists memorials are always to be somber and the living must behave near dead themselves, and life-giving refreshing water provided in such abundance that it's shot into the air, on such a hot day, cannot be used by the living who chanced upon the sacred space?

It's hot outside.

People are relaxing and having fun, children are alive and well and filled with joy, in part because of the memorialized, and he walks up on them and treats them like unwelcome second class uninvited guests. Explaining is one thing and pissing on their innocent party is another.

What a f'k'n killjoy.

He could have simply watched them and enjoyed them. Quietly explain the nature of the memorial fountain. The reason why it was built.

I don't understand people like this. Explain this to me. Why must the memorial be so somber that the water cannot even be used? It can only be looked at. The water is visual, and that's it. No fun allowed.  This is a memorial, now be sad!

He's offended they don't understand. He's offended they're not showing proper decorum and due respect. He's offended they don't comprehend the nature of the space. I get that. But I don't get his behavior. His solution is get them to stop. Better yet, to go away. He's angry they don't behave like he does, they don't see the pubic fountain as he sees it.

Explain to me why I am wrong. Promise I won't argue.  


chickelit said...

Looks like the designer of the pool incorporated submerged steps. Why?

I’m guessing that it was intended for humans.

edutcher said...

Time to introduce a few sharks.

deborah said...

It is to laugh. I doubt the dead service members would mind, and would probably bless them. While I'm at it, I've never cared for the design of the WWII monument. Looks Third Reichish to me.

Good pick-up, chick.

Fr Martin Fox said...

People step into the reflecting pool that sits in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Is that disrespectful?

This raises a bigger question of how to react to "memorials." Are there clear rules? Should I deport myself differently at the Lincoln Memorial (he was assassinated) than at the Jefferson (he died a natural death)? And what about the Washington Memorial, which is perfectly fine, but being abstract, does not confront the viewer with the fact of it memorializing a person, the way others do.

But perhaps I should be comparing war memorials. OK. In the general vicinity of this WWII memorial are a DC (not federal) memorial to World War I. It is a circular "temple," "intended as a bandstand" according to Wikipedia. People sit there and I bet they eat and drink there. Is that disrespectful?

Also nearby is the Korean War memorial, which is a series of statues of soldiers, seeming to be walking through a glade. I don't know what people make of it, but when I've looked at it, it seemed as though not many took notice.

Not far from this is the Vietnam War Memorial. From my experience, people seem to react very differently to this from how they interact with the other memorials I've just mentioned. People are very quiet and somber. When I have visited, it wasn't unusual to see someone praying or touching the wall, or deep in thought.

Meanwhile, there are lots of public buildings dedicated as memorials to veterans and specifically to war dead. Are people supposed to react differently to these buildings, than other stadiums or concert halls, because they are memorials to war dead?

For that matter, what about cemeteries? People walk through cemeteries all the time without taking any special notice of them, and children play in them. Is this disrespectful? At Arlington National Cemetery, there are very specific rules spelled out, both for how to conduct oneself in general, and then, how to comport oneself at the Tomb of the Unknowns. But that only serves to reinforce my question about what, if any, rules there are elsewhere. If there aren't clear rules -- even unwritten ones -- then people haven't broken them.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Hmm, after I posted the earlier comment, I went and looked at some of the memorials I referred to. In the case of the Korean War Memorial, I had forgotten there is a pool there, as well. And guess what? It has a sign that says, "Honor your veterans, no wading." Then I looked at what Wikipedia had on the WWII memorial. Lots of pictures, and in several of them, people (of all sorts, presumably not all third-world visitors) wading in the pool. I could not discern a sign asking people not to do so.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Sorry, another note:

It turns out the pool in the WWII memorial actually preceded the memorial: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Pool.

Jonathan Graehl said...

You've located and interesting aesthetic divide.
The willful-ignorant transgression (by the parents) against formerly-shared values is severe.
At the same time, in an alternate world without those things, it's as you say, innocent+lovely.

Jonathan Graehl said...

You can't have anything sacred unless people are afraid to transgress or have meta- respect for things people respect as sacred.
Not everything should be sacred.

Sixty Grit said...

Where is the Washington Memorial?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Sixty Grit:

Did I say "Washington Memorial"? Oops, it turns out I did. I meant, Washington Monument.

No matter what it's called, it's a memorial isn't it? Or is there a difference?

Sixty Grit said...

I am familiar with the Washington Monument - I have both walked up the internal staircase and down it. The stairs are now closed to the public. There are plenty of plaques lining the staircase and while walking up you can take your time and read them. When you are in 6th grade you race down the stairs to beat your classmates to ground level.

As for the difference between the two words - it's a lot of word play. I was just wondering if I had missed something in all of my decades of visiting the Mall.

I will say this, with regards to the structure itself - as the world's tallest masonry building it is indeed monumental.