Letters to the editor on Ike memorial, Ukraine, pope

03/05/2014 5:26 PM

03/05/2014 5:26 PM

Get Ike memorial show on the road

Kansas City Star columnist Steve Paul wrote that the proposed Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., needed a “reboot” (Feb. 23 Opinion). Paul supports discarding the current design – and designer – in favor of returning to square one.

At each of its meetings over the past 13 years, the bipartisan Eisenhower Memorial Commission has voted unanimously for the evolving design. These votes included those of Kansas Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran. Also, each year Congress has fully funded the commission’s planning process, which recently brought the design stage to completion.

The “resounding opposition” to the plan mentioned by Paul consists principally of the National Civic Art Society. But despite its inclusive-sounding name, the society is not an objective arbiter of civic art. The society is, in fact, dedicated to a particular architectural tradition, as well as to the philosophical – and inevitably political – premises that underlie it. This organization’s recent excoriating criticism of the Frank Gehry design is, therefore, highly prejudiced; interested citizens should look elsewhere for balanced views on the memorial design.

Enough of the endless criticism of the design. Let’s get the Eisenhower Memorial show on the road. Now.



Flex muscles

We have few options regarding the Ukraine, but it would put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin to reconsider the missile shield for Poland and Hungry. Have some NATO troop and naval exercises on the Black Sea. It is time to flex our muscles along with France and England. These along with the financial options would show Putin we are serious. Of course, we need to stop our downsizing of our military.



Be merciful

Might there be a new brand of comet entering our world? This comet comes dressed as a Jesuit pope who brings a simple message: mercy over moralizing (“Pope’s exit one year ago began church’s change,” Feb. 11 Eagle).

One of the vows I made at my baptism was made not only to God through Christ in our “baptismal covenant” but also to all mankind: “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” My response was, “Yes, with God’s help!”

We forget that our American game is not one like chess, to overpower in a warlike manner, but to strive for unity while recognizing there are always going to be differences. When one professes to be living in God’s country, that country is so vast and expansive it has room for everyone. Even America fits into it.

In our great state of Kansas, we could do a lot more if we would be more merciful, rather than playing a chesslike moralizing game of “We’re two up, and you’re three down.”



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