Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 26, 2013

OUR VIEW: Fallen heroes memorial is a perfect solution

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A hot-button topic that threatened to become a 1,000-pound gorilla came to a swift and amicable end last week with a common sense solution.

The Common Council is assembling a memorial committee to establish ground rules that will lead to a permanent, all-purpose memorial for “fallen heroes.” Public support for this plan is strong, and we applaud the decision.

What makes one person more worthy than another to have a park, bridge, street or other public place named after him? Does the person have to perform a heroic act? How important is residency? Should that person have been born and raised here?

Classmates of Patricia Parete had been trying to convince the city council to rename Rogers Park in her honor. Parete, who died in February, was a Lockport native and member of Lockport High School’s Class of 1983. She joined the Buffalo Police Department and was paralyzed after being shot while pursuing a suspect in 2006.

When the council balked, it appeared to be misinterpreted as disinterest and accusations of homophobia — Parete was gay — were lodged.

It’s been pointed out that there are many people worthy of being memorialized in the City of Lockport. Army Spec. Albert Jex was killed in Iraq in 2009 and a request to have a bridge named after him was turned down. Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Incardona died in the line of duty in 1993. Clip Smith was a tireless cheerleader for Lockport.

A fallen heroes memorial is a fantastic solution and should eliminate any hard feelings. There are many people who undoubtedly will be suggested, and the guidelines should ensure the memorial is all-inclusive.