A Michigan battlefield cross fallen soldier memorial is sparking controversy in a Detroit suburb. The traditional battlefield cross symbol used to honor those who gave all to protect America is comprised of a military helmet with dangling dog tags placed upon the stock of a rifle with the barrel pointing down into a pair of combat boots.
The battlefield cross fallen soldier memorial, either the temporary make-shift version comprised of actual helmets, dog tags, rifle, and combat boots, or a permanent statue style fixture, has been used to honor members of the military since the Civil War.
The controversy brewing in Michigan, one which some feel stems from hyper-sensitive political correctness, began earlier this month when it was proposed that a battlefield cross was erected at the end of brick path which leads to an existing veterans memorial. Milford Friends of American Veterans Chairman Bear Hall presented the fallen soldier memorial request.
Bear Hall asked the Milford, Michigan village council and recreation commission is the approximately 4-foot-tall battlefield cross mounted on a 4-foot base, could be placed at the public park near the current veterans’ memorial. Hall was reportedly told that the long-standing military symbol would not be “appropriate” as a centerpiece in the park.
The Michigan man had this to say about the Milford officials denial of the battlefield cross placement.
“There was some concern from a couple of members regarding the specific memorial that’s proposed. Specifically, the gun. They understood the history and meaning of it; they just didn’t feel it was appropriate for that specific location.”
There was some disagreement about the fallen soldier memorial between Milford officials. “Being a veteran, I want to see a monument there, yes,” Councilman Tom Nader stated during an interview with the Detroit Free Press, “I just don’t think this is the proper one.” Fellow Milford Village Council member Jennifer Frankford disagreed with Nader. “If it wasn’t for the boots and the gun and the helmet, we wouldn’t have all the freedoms we have,” Frankford said.
Bear Hall has not given up on placing the battlefield cross fallen soldier memorial at the Michigan park. The topic will be debated during the upcoming April 20 council meeting. Hall intends to bring “a lot of people” to the Milford village council meeting. While Hall said that he is willing to discuss changing the exact location of the military memorial, he remains committed to the use of the battlefield cross symbol.
“If [the Milford Village Council] doesn’t want it as a focal point, that’s fine, but we don’t want some ‘foofoo’ fountain either,” Hall, a former United States Marine, added. He also told the local newspaper that a vast number of veterans he has spoken with about the denial of the battlefield cross memorial, are not pleased with the objections by some council members. “Everyone’s thinking the same thing we’re thinking: We didn’t win the war by throwing sticks and stones,” Hall concluded.
The emotional fallen soldier memorial in controversy could spark some competition in the next round of village council elections in Milford.
What do you think about the Michigan battlefield cross debate?
[Image via: Shutterstock.com]