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My Soap Box

THANK YOU SUNSHINE! Business was great this past week and I believe it is in large part due to the fabulous sunshine that we have been experiencing. Mother Nature has been great to us and even as it is pouring down rain right now I am so grateful for those few days of abundance. We even found time to grill some Lopez Island Farm pork on Sunday and it was GOOD. The sun-filled memories are recent enough to keep me calm about our broken coffee machine and leaking espresso machine and on and on it rolls. Have you had any great local meals lately?

Mark and I went to the West Sound Business Expo last week to see if it is something we may want to participate in next year. We sampled every restaurant and caterer’s offerings and hands down the best food to be had was CJ’s Evergreen Store from Bremerton. I know they have been growing their catering and their food is truly fantastic. CJ, Richard and the staff utilize local food whenever they can and they are fiercely loyal to local goods and causes. Who wouldn’t love that??

This week I am going to go out on a limb here and champion a cause that is near to my heart. Aside from constantly beating the ‘value local’ thing into you all, I have not done this before on this blog to this extent. I hope that you will love the idea and if you do not, I hope that it will at least open our minds and hearts to be able to come up with a mutually agreeable answer. Rather than a recipe at the end, I am offering a recipe for the true meaning of community in this writing.

Chief Lusk of Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue has begun a wonderful thing for our community. He was the first in the state to apply for, and become granted, a piece of history. Steel from the Twin Towers is being made available to communities across the nation who want to honor those lives lost. Chief Lusk will be receiving a large piece of steel and he wants to erect a memorial monument somewhere in Kitsap County, his current first choice being Old Town Silverdale. This is a huge step towards offering healing, education, and remembrance to our community and those around us who can make the pilgrimage to Kitsap, and may never have the opportunity to get to New York City. Even those of us who have been to Ground Zero will appreciate the opportunity to reach out and touch this piece of steel that represents so much more than nearly 3000 lives lost on September 11, 2001. So many more lives have been lost since that day, and we continue to lose souls to the fight for freedom from terrorist acts.

I think that there are only 2 other areas across the state that have definitely been approved, and 2 others under consideration. I am surprised by a few people’s negative reaction to having a September 11 monument erected at the Old Town Silverdale waterfront. The vehement objection that I first heard was that the park is for everyone, including ‘children and older people’ and that a memorial monument would be ‘too depressing’ for the community to endure. This reaction was from someone who was hearing about the artifact for the first time, had very little information about what it was, and no information whatsoever about the plans for this beautiful site that is being proposed for our area. The closed-minded statements being uttered instantly reminded me of the reasons that we even have this topic to discuss in the first place. It was an uninformed fear reaction to proposed change. I know that most of us struggle with change, even when we want and look forward to it, and for reasons that I do not understand this topic is making a few people feel challenged at their power base.

Did they have this reaction to Kitsap County’s only Veteran’s Memorial, which is located at Waterfront Park? That monument represents far more lives lost and I do not believe that anyone views it as too depressing to endure. The 9-11 artifact will bring many people to our area, especially at first, and that will continue to be true. The initial plans include art tiles made by children who were born in 2001, a meditative walk that represents a timeline of the day, a pentagon shaped area to surround the steel and seating along the way for folks to reflect with the beautiful views of the inlet and mountain beyond. The plans are no where near finalized as this site is actually the second that Chief Lusk has proposed, and his team needs to personalize the plans to the space available.

The first site was at the new Y in Silverdale and the monument was rejected by that site in the end because it was ‘too depressing’. I am sure that my law enforcement background has skewed my thinking around this, and I am having a difficult time getting past ‘SERIOUSLY’?? Do we really not see what an honor it will be to have such an amazing thing in our midst? Parents can educate their children, people can pay their respects and touch a real piece of our recent history which happens to be one of the major historical events of the world.

I certainly hope that the Port commissioners find a way to work this piece in to their property in Old Town. It will be good for our economy and for our community on so many different levels. When the steel is brought across the nation there will be an escort by the Patriot Guard Riders who estimate as many as 80,000 bikes will join the ride at different points in the journey. It is coming to Kitsap, we just don’t know where or when yet. It would thrill me to be able to meet the steel when it hits Spokane and escort it across the state. Who wants to join me?

So far the funds for this project are entirely based on donations. If you want to donate you can do so through us, or at the Silverdale American Marine Bank. Donations should be directed to the 9/11 Memorial Fund. You can email the committee here:911ArtifactCommittee@ckfr.org. If you want to encourage the Port of Silverdale to consider this (or to discourage them, after all that is what our freedom of speech is about!) you can email them here.