If they ever should seek the “Most Patriotic Cities,” Blue Springs certainly merits a nomination.



In the fall of 2010, Eleanor Frasier of the Blue Springs Public Arts Commission and scores of her unpaid volunteers were instrumental in bringing the “Wall That Heals,” the traveling replica of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to Pink Hill Park for four days.

If they ever should seek the “Most Patriotic Cities,” Blue Springs certainly merits a nomination.

In the fall of 2010, Eleanor Frasier of the Blue Springs Public Arts Commission and scores of her unpaid volunteers were instrumental in bringing the “Wall That Heals,” the traveling replica of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to Pink Hill Park for four days.

The patriotic event was a tremendous success, drawing some 50,000 visitors, including several thousand Vietnam veterans. Washington Wall officials were so impressed they now advise other cities to pattern their event after Blue Springs.

The Parks Commission even named the entryway to Pink Hill Park as “Veterans Way.”

During the event, renowned sculptor Beth Nybeck, a Dubuque, Iowa, native now living in Kansas City, was issued a temporary permit to display her aluminum symbol of a wounded bird, “Restless Recovery.”

Subsequently, it became the center point for a new memorial, a tribute to the sacrifice, courage and valor of all veterans who served our nation. It will be dedicated on the two-year Wall anniversary this Oct. 2.

Nybeck tells me, “Restless Recovery is symbolic of a wounded bird wing that is not quite ready to fly but is excited about the prospect.”

Frasier adds, “Nybeck’s symbol will sit on a granite pedestal designed by local artist Lawrence Randall and will simply say, ‘To Those Who Served.’”

The city is also high on landscape designer Rick Howell, who designed the memorial area in which “Restless Recovery” will stand for all to see.

You can see a color rendering of the setting on Bluespringswallthatheals.net

At the opening ceremony in 2010, I had the honor of reciting my poem “A Moving Epitaph,” and dedicating it to Larry Barham who was killed in 1968.

Larry is the brother of Jerry Barham, a prominent northland businessman who served on Frasier’s 2010 committee and is now, at his own expense, bringing back “The Wall That Heals” to North Kansas City on June 27 for five days.

I have the honor of being invited to both events in which I will present words of patriotism to all veterans, living and dead.

The Blue Springs goal is to raise $100,000.

For more information or to donate, call 816-655-0490 and join this patriotic event, this Red, White and Blue Springs dedication to all of our veterans.

I give you President John Adams’ toast: Independence forever.