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Federal Way's impetus for a veterans tribute | Andy Hobbs
A reader raised a good point about economic development — er, opportunity creation — in regards to the idea of a veterans monument in Federal Way.
"The impetus for a veterans memorial should not be tourism or economic development. That will lead to disappointment," wrote Keith Tyler, a former city council candidate. "The impetus for a veterans memorial should be... to memorialize veterans, and nothing more."
He is correct. So is any other excuse to build impetus toward a common goal. We want impetus pouring out of everyone's ears. The first person to bottle and sell impetus will become a trillionaire. Impetus is contagious, and interestingly enough, there is a link between veterans and impetus. A memorial would pay homage to both.
The World War II generation bonded in majority lockstep to protect the American way of life. It was understood that, during a total war, everything was at stake. Winning was the only option, and this mindset united the nation.
The war's end tasted especially sweet for the U.S. No battles were fought on American soil, so there was no need to rebuild — just a need to build, build, build. Soldiers returned, attended college, made babies, bought cars, launched suburbia.
The soldiers injected their military discipline into a civilian population that was disciplined in winning the war. This was the most potent cocktail of impetus in history. This impetus propelled the nation to superpower status. The impetus has since waned, but that's for another conversation.
Veterans are trained and conditioned to survive. Imagine if every U.S. male, upon turning 18, had to go through boot camp and serve one year in the military. You can bet that more young adults would have their act together. There would be fewer prisoners and more achievement. The military would introduce discipline to boys who never had it. They'd learn to channel their energy toward reaching a goal, small or big, and get the job done.
Along with first responders, veterans serve as role models for bravery and patriotism in our culture. They set the tone for national holidays and are largely immune to criticism. They are heroes, survivors and symbols.
When someone sets a powerful example, others will follow. A veterans monument can subtly remind visitors of the virtues that led to success for multiple generations.
When building impetus, every idea helps.