Carver, not Damiani, should be honored

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, September 21, 2017

To the editor:

As far back as 2004, there have been plans to recognize a nationally known figure on the Fairgrounds in downtown Suffolk.

As part of the Fairgrounds Revitalization Plan, the George Washington Carver Circle project was put before the city, much to the delight of Suffolk’s citizens. However, that project stalled badly. Ten years later, in 2014, mention was made again about the much-anticipated project. But this time the project was dealt a sucker punch, reducing it from elaborate stonework and statues to a modest stone marker.

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Fast forward to 2016, and the George Washington Carver Circle project was served the blow that ended the fight. Planning for the project had failed to take into account the cost of moving power lines that would prohibit installation of the “modest stone marker.”

Now, in 2017, a well-worn path cuts straight through the plot of land that had been dedicated to the memory of George Washington Carver. Perhaps it was made by his ghost pacing back and forth while he awaits a rematch.

The Suffolk News-Herald has detailed plans to memorialize a local hero, former mayor Andy Damiani, at Character Corner, which is located across the literal and proverbial railroad tracks from what would have been Carver Circle.

Plans are in the making to hoist high this hero’s name. But as Character Corner becomes Damiani Square, Carver Circle will be dealt yet another blow to the gut.

Who will take the challenges of hard work and sacrifice above the ease of a name change in order to give honor to all who are due it? Will Carver remain denied an honor while another receives an honor for which he didn’t fight?

Delano Calvin