Clear plan for Veteran’s Park is well past due, so let’s get started

In light of Lock Haven City Council’s tie vote and thus rejection this week of a request to place a memorial at Veteran’s Park to the late Staff Sgt. Daniel K. Stein, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the Marines and the Army, it is past time council start working on a plan for this very special park on Water Street.

Make that well past time … because it has been a couple of years since a much-deserved memorial to another veteran was placed there, thus setting a precedent.

And we suggest that council pass on the responsibility for that plan to veterans themselves.

Yes, we get it: There must be be rhyme and reason for the placement of memorials at Veterans Park to those who serve our country in the military so all who deserve to be honored are given that honor in the most fair and appropriate way.

And we further agree that there must be a memorial to local Korean War veterans at the park and it should be given priority.

A well-thought-out plan — perhaps bolstered by private funds to upgrade existing memorials that require constant maintenance — is needed so everyone understands how memorial requests are to be judged and placed.

This is too important … because we must avoid confusion and misunderstanding so that all veterans, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice — are properly honored.

No one should be left behind.

But make no mistake: Sgt. Stein deserves to be honored. He took his own life this year after having given 10 years of his life to his country, serving first in the Marines, then in the Army, then the Army Reserves.

Sgt. Stein served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and earned dozens of awards, including the Bronze Star for Valor for saving lives under fire.

Sadly, he was a victim of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, just like the Navy SEAL David Collins, whose memorial graces the park already.

We hope City Council does not continue to let this plan languish.

We hope that council keeps an open mind, that it enlists the help of the Clinton County Office of Veterans Affairs and others, and that council serves as a catalyst to recruit veterans and allows them to make the decisions on the park’s future and the memorials placed within it.

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