In our opinion: Don’t rush park

The Bremerton Parks Commission returned the “buck” back to city council during their May 24 meeting on the Kitsap 9/11 Memorial Committee’s proposal for the largest memorial outside of Ground Zero, which is to be built at Evergreen Park. They did so with a 4-2 vote that also sent forth a convoluted set of conditions for the council, a stout move considering the council voted unanimously last December to forward  a project that had no plans or designs when proposed.

Parks Department Director Wyn Birkenthal pulled back on the reigns and created the recently approved document dictating the way forward for the controversial 9/11 memorial and includes a joint four-hour work session to address the concerns of the parks commission regarding the proposed design created by Dave Fergus, Central Kitsap Fire Commissioner, Bremerton architect and designer of the memorial. In short, the concerns were the the overall size and scope of the design, lack of connection to Bremerton or Kitsap County on the day of 9/11 or thereafter, overall content and overall message and future maintenance costs. Many citizens concur.

That session is open to all members of the public set for Monday, July 25 and begins at 4 p.m. at the Sheridan Park Community Center Lounge at 680 Lebo Blvd.  And, though two public forums will be held at a date yet to be determined, it’s likely that whatever comes from Monday’s joint design session will be mostly solidified and heading forward to city council in September for review and cost explanation before their final action. We encourage those who care to get there and get involved.

We support the idea that 9/11 should be memorialized here. But those in charge should take the  time to better think out its design so that it represents community desire rather than the locked image of New York in flames. Much else happened that day and in the 10 years since.

Hurrying the design to match the 10th anniversary date is not necessary,  if, for a moment, all would consider how long it took for the World War II memorial to be erected on the National Mall in honor of America’s “Greatest Generation” – 59 years.

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