Colorado Springs business leaders often complain about the city’s national reputation. It appears that lots of people actually think that the community has more of its share of intolerant people and even – OK let’s say it out loud – wackadoos. This image problem, some say, has the potential for hurting Colorado Springs over the long haul.Things like this little item in the Oct. 10 USA Today probably don’t help:
COLORADO SPRINGS – The City Council refused to offer its support to an appearance later this week of a touring memorial to U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq that was created by a pacifist group. Critics say the Eyes Wide Open exhibit, which displays a pair of boots for every U.S. casualty and includes a reading of the name of those killed, undermines the military’s mission and the war.
The mayor and city council refusing to honor or even acknowledge the 2,753 soldiers who have died so far in the war? We should just ignore them?
The American Friends Service Committee, which is sponsoring the exhibit in cities across the country, had wanted to bring Eyes Wide Open, appropriately enough, to Memorial Park near downtown Colorado Springs. The city is home, of course, to several military bases, including the Air Force Academy and Fort Carson, which has experienced its share of casualties from the war.
Instead, the boots were exhibited at the private Colorado College, before heading to its next stop, Williamsport, Va.
“Seems like our council only appreciates our soldiers when they are alive and able to spend money in our local economy,” said Colorado Springs resident Jerome Husebye. “It’s sad.”