About 60 years ago, a group of Allen County citizens planned and erected the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum to honor the Allen County citizens who interrupted their lives to serve in the military. There is a strong Allen County military commitment – enlisted, voluntary and Selective Service – going back to World War I, World War II, the cold war, Korea and Vietnam. Recent wars in the Mideast (Desert Shield and Desert Storm) Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan – men and women have given up part of their lives to serve in the military.
I am proposing the commissioners allow free parking for veterans of all the above-listed wars at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
It would be prudent if the commissioners would legislate that all Allen County veterans be permitted to park free in the $4 parking lot at any Coliseum event with the same benefit that military personnel wearing their service uniform have, with no identification necessary.
A veterans license plate, retired-military identification card, VA identification card or veteran organizations current-year or life-member card could be used to properly implement the free parking, thereby causing no additional administration cost.
The above proposal is long overdue to show Allen County veterans appreciation for their service to this country.
General Manager Randy Brown and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum board have expanded the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on several occasions. Basically, they have commercialized this building with complete disregard to the Allen County veterans.
Yes, there is a Memorial Hall inside this building that lists the names of those citizens put in harms way and who made the ultimate sacrifice, so that not only Allen County, Indiana but the United States of America remains free today. The Memorial Hall should be open for all citizens to visit instead of being closed.
News releases and advertisements of events have even shortened the building name to either Coliseum or Memorial Coliseum, another disregard for the veterans and the building.
The illuminated sign does state Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. If the building werent there, Brown, his staff and the board would not exist. I would hope they support the proposal.
I would hope that the Allen County Veterans Council and other veterans organizations would positively support the proposal.
JOHN D. HANNIGAN
staff sergeant, U.S. Army, 1953-64