A Reflection for Memorial Day:

Maybe the Justice Park Board should look in the Mirror.

As a resident of Justice and a current Village Trustee, I wanted to take a few minutes and let our residents know the most recent antics of the Justice Park Board and our beloved Veteran’s Memorial.

A quick review of the situation goes like this; for more than 40 years, a Veteran’s Memorial stood proudly on a little piece of land at Archer and Oak Grove Avenues.  Residents at the time had fund raised and presented the Memorial to our Veterans here in Justice.

For no apparent reason,  the Village Board of 2009 and Park Commissioners’ decided to “move the Memorial” to it’s current place, behind the cell towers in Commissioners Park.  The public outcry was apparent and when  the mayor called for a hearing, the  voices of the residents were ignored by the previous board and the monument was moved anyway.

To date, no clear reason for the move has been determined and lately, the upkeep and maintenance of the monument has fallen into disrepair; especially since the counting of the votes this April.

In 2012, the Village Board was “tapped” by the Park Board for a $33,000 expense to improve the area, place benches, landscaping and all Military flags.  There was fanfare and a ceremony and all of the pomp and circumstance last year for the dedication.

Here is what the Memorial looked like, just a week before Memorial Day Services  for 2013

Unmaintained and unkempt.

I find it troubling that members of the Park Commission would outwardly send a robo-call to the residents endorsing the VIP Party and then once defeated find a way to shirk their responsibility to the residents by way of the Memorial.  Recently, we were told there would be no landscaping in time for the Memorial Service this year.  Why does this anger me?  Well, it seems as though the Park Board did not show up to their first meeting to approve the landscape contract for this year and therefore “Memorial Day would have to wait”  We were told by the Park Director that he could provide us a vendor at a cost to the Village of $500 to do the work.  And by the way the work would be done by a vendor who isn’t even from Justice.  Really?

Here are my questions for the Park Board of Commissioners:

Why is a once per month meeting not attended?

Why did you even bother to run for Commissioner?

Why does the Director of operations not have the authority to spend $500?

What was the importance of moving the Memorial in the first place?

If in fact, you never intended to take care of this keepsake, why don’t you just put it back?

Respectfully Submitted… Sue Small


Residents post with the original Memorial pre-move.