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Observer 11/24/14

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Home arrow Opinion arrow Our View arrow UNION'S MEMORIAL WELL WORTH VISITING

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UNION'S MEMORIAL WELL WORTH VISITING

The veterans memorial at Union City Park might not be as impressive as the black-granite Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., or a similar memorial wall set up at Washington Park in Portland.

BUT THE PEOPLE of Union rightfully are proud of their new memorial and flags that were dedicated July Fourth.

Union's memorial combines three older stones containing the names of veterans with two new stones. One stone recognizes the sacrifice of service men and women who were missing in action or prisoners of war. The other represents all who serve in the United States military.

POSITIONED BEHIND the stone memorial are seven flags. Old Glory stands tallest among the flags. On one side of the Stars and Stripes are three service branch flags; on the other side are two service flags along with a black-and-white MIA/POW flag.

Area residents do not have to travel far to honor the memory and accomplishments of those who served the United States — in peacetime as well as war. Stop by the Union park and check out the new veterans memorial. The Union Veterans of Foreign Wars, individuals and Union County businesses should be congratulated for providing funds, materials and labor to make this worthwhile project possible.

GOING BEGGING

You're going shopping in a big-city department store. Suddenly, before you can pass through the glass doors, a beggar rushes toward you. He asks if you can spare some change or a few dollars to help him.

YOU WONDER how to respond. You might reach into your pocket and pull out a couple dollars to satisfy the beggar. Or you may have some other response like, "Sorry not today."

You had not planned to encounter a panhandler when you went shopping. And you're offended by the intrusion into your personal space. Vancouver, Wash., is doing something about it.

The city's criminal code has changed to make aggressive begging a misdemeanor throughout Vancouver. Those convicted could face a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail.

VANCOUVER'S LAW bars people from begging "with the intent to intimidate another person into giving money or goods." Presumably that would mean the person sitting on the sidewalk strumming his guitar and singing some rock song from the sixties will be able to collect money in a hat and stay in business. They may continue unless, of course, they are violating some law governing loitering or trespassing.

The new law raises the question of what will happen to the beggars cast away by the ordinance. Are jobs available for them? Are there social agencies standing by to feed or help them in some other way? Or will they simply go on to another city where their intrusive behavior is tolerated by the public and the police?

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