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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

We're neglecting the legacies from Fort Wayne's past


Camp Allen Park

So let's take care of our monuments or get rid of them.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 2:32 pm

City officials have a pile of money they're soliciting ideas on how to spend. They're calling it Legacy Fort Wayne, the idea being to create something lasting. That suggests our city knows how to do that, which isn't always true.

We already have some legacies we don't take care of very well. The statue of Gen. Henry W. Lawton, Fort Wayne hero of the Civil War, in Lakeside Park is missing its saber, and the general is, to put it kindly, a little streaked with stuff that should be cleaned off. Camp Allen Park has no historical marker detailing its significance as the place where area troops mustered for training during the war. The statue of Col. David Foster, father of the Fort Wayne Parks system, in Swinney Park isn't in very good shape.

If we don't take care of the legacies left to us, how can we ask future generations to take care of legacies we leave them? Our forebears chose the people, events and places to honor because of their contributions to our identity. How can we not keep monuments to them in decent shape?

We're not usually enthusiastic about recommending throwing public funds around. But maintaining our monuments would be a small cost, and the gains would be enormous. Let's fix them up or get rid of them – doing nothing would be a disrespectful neglect of our history.