December, 2008

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Memorials are in parks, graves are in cemeteries.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Finally had to throw in a comment on the silliness of the “consultant from out-of-town” observing that our parks look like cemeteries because of all the memorials. News Flash – memorials are NOT in cemeteries, graves are. Memorials are typically spread around a city or town, or located on or near a spot being memorialized. The great memorials in D.C., Lincoln, Washington, Vietnam Veterans, etc. are not in Arlington Cemetery, but rather in the city itself. Likewise, in our fair city we have memorials to a variety of war veterans, as well as individual people and events located throughout the city – not in cemeteries.

Tulsa has been blessed with an abundance of people that we wish to remember. I am also proud that we have a strong spirit of remembering people and events as it encourages us to draw strength from those that have given of themselves in so many ways.

The “Up With Trees” program is a great way to maintain and expand Tulsa’s urban forest. It is not surprising that people would choose to honor friends or family members by donating to this effort and having a small, simple wooden sign added. If you will actually read many of the signs, you will see that many of them honor living people and their efforts to make life in Tulsa better for us all. Tulsa’s people are remarkably generous with their time and their money and a living group of trees is a great way to acknowledge those special people who go the extra mile.

As far as the River Parks in particular, I feel that some of the NatureWorks pieces could be better integrated into the park with landscaping and such, but they are wonderful pieces and I enjoy them whether cycling or driving in the area. There are other pieces of art in River Parks that I do not understand or relate to, but this is a park for all of Tulsa and I would not want to see it dumbed down to the Thomas Kinkade or Terry Redlin level of greeting card works.

In short, Tulsans from all walks of life have given of themselves and I think it is great that we choose to honor them all over town, not just on the courthouse lawn. I also think it is great that we have a variety of art pieces in our public spaces for all to enjoy.  Just because you do not love a particular piece on first viewing doesn’t mean you can’t get something from it if you will open up and give it a try.