I READ with some concern the two stories in recent copies of the Echo about the People’s Monument and the need for finances to look after veterans in the city.
The challenge to raise £280,000 for a statue to celebrate our armed forces is immense, and I personally feel that money could be better spent elsewhere.
In addition, what about our men and women in the coal mines, shipyards, ammunition factories, land army, merchant navy and the other civilians who made sacrifices or were killed?
Who were these people who decided on the People’s Monument and its design because I didn’t see anything being proposed or consulted upon? Where is it going because I am under the impression the new square on St Mary’s Way is dedicated to the shipbuilding industry?
I seem to remember it took nearly three years to raise the money for the new commemoration wall next to the cenotaph in Burdon Road.
Personally, I think we have enough monuments to remind us of the futility of war.
In another article I read about the need for £20,000 for our city veterans, of which I am one.
The Veterans Network, which is trying to raise the money, is right – it is a national disgrace that some of our service men and women do not get any help and are all too often let down by those who are supposed to help them.
Where is all the Armed Forces Covenant money because I haven’t seen any being spent in Sunderland?
As an ex-serviceman of 23 years with the army, who, fortunately, did not need any help when I came out, I hear some horrendous stories of our veterans being abandoned by the system.
I read that 100 per cent of the donations to the Veterans Network will go to help veterans and their families, which makes a nice change from seeing wages and other expenses being taken out of the donations. As for the monument – nice thought, but my donations will be going to helping the living not to building another monument to those who are no longer here.
Those who have died already have my respect as some of them were my friends in the units where I served.