Purple Heart memorial

Dear Editor:My name is Joseph Del Rio. My current officer position is that of Senior Vice Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 210. I first approached Mayor Mario Guerra at a military concert at Furman Park 2 1/2 years ago. He was a councilman at the time. My proposal to him was for him to ask the Downey City Council whether they would finance and erect a memorial monument honoring fallen, wounded and Purple Heart-awarded personnel (veterans). I went to Guerra's office and we spoke. He said at the time it was a great idea, and perhaps we could erect it in front of City Hall. I replied that would be great. In the years since, I have been to his office several times, as well as calling and providing his office (via his secretary) with numerous photographs depicting various other cities that have erected memorials honoring our fallen and wounded Purple Heart-awarded veterans. I reached his cell phone three months ago and the only reply I got from him was that the budget was in bad shape and times were bad. I said I would keep in touch with him on this matter. Then I read in The Downey Patriot that he wants to spend $50,000 on fireworks on this Fourth of July. ("City Agrees to Pay for July 4 Fireworks Show," 5/29/09) Is he serious? That money should be spent on better things in Downey. Why not start by honoring our servicemen with a memorial? After all, they have given their lives for our freedom. -Joseph Del Rio, Downey

********** Published: June 5, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 7