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WTC steel and MacDill Park, Part II

August 11, 2011

A while back – around Memorial Day, to be exact – Tampasphere noted that Tampa/Hillsborough County would be receiving three pieces of metal from the World Trade Center.  One piece (Hillsborough County’s) was headed to Hero’s Corner, one piece (one of two for Tampa) was headed to the Firefighters’ Museum, and a third piece was still heading to an unknown location, though some speculated it would be heading to the median of Bayshore Boulevard at Bay-to-Bay, where the Bayshore Patriots assemble from time to time.

Tampashere noted that the first two locations were very fitting but that the third piece would be better located at an accessible point where people could gather and honor our men and women in uniform who are actually fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban, namely MacDill Park downtown.

We were also glad to read of the Mayor of Tampa’s comment about the location of the memorials:

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he’d like the exhibit to be in a space that allows the public the greatest opportunity to honor those who died.

Of course, it has to be noted that this comment was made in an article about how the city is hurrying, apparently without real discussion, to build something in the median of Bayshore.  Namely, and apparently ethereally, this:

Picture from the Times

Nothing says accessible and honoring the fallen like the median of a divided public road – especially if you live somewhere other than near Bayshore, like most of Tampa does.  Frankly, it is hard to imagine a less moving place to honor the fallen, except maybe here

Picture from the Times.

This memorial is stuck at the intersection of Kennedy and Memorial Hwy (State Road 60), though it at least got a sidewalk and some landscaping so the multitudes of passers-by who don’t even notice the memorial can continue to not walk to it.(We have to say this is about the best angle you can take a picture of this memorial.  Kudos to the Times)

Just so you know – this is what it looked like when they dedicated the memorial at the Howard Avenue end – yea, we said that right – ever notice the memorial there? And this is what the road looked like.

Given Tampa’s track record, we are dubious that putting a memorial in the middle of the median either makes sense or honors the fallen.  The Bayshore Patriots are fine people and what they do has merit.  However, Tampasphere still maintains that the third piece of steel should go in MacDill Park to honor the fallen from 9/11 and those who fell and who still fight as a result of it.  It is not too late to do the right thing.

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