For years now, a roadside memorial honoring America’s military veterans, and characterized by a rich assembly of U.S. flags, has decorated a portion of King County, Washington.
As with practically all such roadside memorials, this one was erected by local residents, and thus unofficial. No matter. It was popular, and certainly well-known throughout the area. Accordingly, local authorities saw no reason to dismantle it, and so there it remained.
The county received a single complaint from an area resident who claimed to find the memorial display to be “offensive.” So what happened next? Road crews were dispatched to take it down.
As you can imagine, the removal was not at all well-received by the vast majority of local residents. One man, Robert Cunningham, as reported by WACH Fox 57, said, “One person says they don’t like it, and they take it down. I don’t understand. We live in the United States of America. This is our flag. Why is it offensive?”
Only the same question a whole lot of people have been asking in recent years, Robert.
In this case, the locals weren’t having any of it, and went right back out and reassembled the display.
According to King County officials, however, the memorial will have to be permanently relocated because, in their words, “signage and displays can create a visual distraction that may cause drivers to look away from the roadway.”
Uh-huh. Except it’s clear that this particular memorial was allowed by the county to remain in place for many years, until one person complained; complained that a roadside display featuring the American flag, of all things, was offensive.
And there you have it – your America, 2017 version.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large