The Military Court of Honor in Largo's Central Park is not the disgrace some reports would have you believe it is.
Oh, there is plenty wrong with it.
For one thing, it is amateurish and very wrongly named.
Why it would be named after Jim Miles, a former Largo commissioner, and Richard Leandri, his buddy, is just plain bush league. That came about in some kind of emotional gush, I suppose.
I mean, there are some real heroes named among the bricks bearing names there (which are on the ground and walked on -- ugh!).
Like Corp. John Cannon, who was at the Battle of the Bulge (Bastogne, Belgium; December, 1944). Everyone there was a hero.
And Command Sgt. Major Franklin D. Miller who got the Medal of Honor in Vietnam.
All of those named in honor at the site are not Largo folks. I know that, because Herbert T. Kimura is honored and he was from St. Petersburg.
I knew Kimura. He was in the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team that fought with distinction in Italy. That group, whose battle cry was "Go for Broke!", was made up of Americans of Japanese ancestry.
If you don't think it was trying times for those guys back in those days I am here to tell you that it was. But they proved themselves.
So I don't see why it is named after Miles and Leandri. I don't see why it is named after any individuals at all. I mean, is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington named after someone? C'mon.
The distinctive flags of the Armed Forces and the Coast Guard that fly overhead are lost in the overall ambience of the Court.
Those flags should be arranged in a way that makes them easily viewable without getting a crick in your neck.
And the plaques that announce what the site is at the two entrances could use some fixing up. They are very badly deteriorated.
The legend on them says the Court is "dedicated to all who served in the armed forces." So, you see, it doesn't have to be named after anyone.
Now there is talk of some cheesy fund raisers to get together $160,000 to fix up the Military Court of Honor. George Feaster, an old dog who knows what's going on in Largo, chided the commission recently.
"You appropriate some funds to fix that Court," he said. "It shouldn't be done with fund raisers."
He is so right. If the Court is a representation of the people of Largo, the city, in the name of the people, should pay for it. And make it first class. Or forget it. The dead don't care.
The money could be there. Stop allocating money to trash collectors for "travel and training", i.e., boondoggles that cost about $5,000 a lick. And stop the junkets by elected officials to Florida League of City extravaganzas. And just let the new library be surrounded by some plain and nicely mowed lawn for a while and save all the big landscaping ideas for later.
Maybe the elected officials could forgo future raises for a year or two and demonstrate their love for veterans; they are always ready to harp on patriotic themes.
Maybe those $500,000 street signs could have waited a while.
You get my drift, right?
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