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What defines a city? Not cruise ship docks

What defines a city?

Posted: May 26, 2011 - 8:04pm

What defines a city? Is it the amount of money it takes in? Or is it the way the money is spent?

Juneau is a good town in many ways. It provides parks and hiking trails, care for those who need it, a good hospital, schools, and an outpouring of help by its citizens when trouble or sorrow strike others.

However, at the moment something is lacking. The Fishermen’s Memorial, built to honor the fishing community here, as many have testified, provides a place for those who commemorate the fishers who can never return, their bodies a sacrifice to the sea and the fish that provide a living. The survivors can take the children and family members to stand before it, lay flowers in memory, and reach out in loving thoughts and prayers to the departed.

But an element says that is ridiculous. The memorial stands in the way of two proposed docks. Are these docks for the fishers? Are they for the year-round use of the community? Of course not. These will be built by private individuals to make money from the cruise ships they attract during the summers.

Is this really the soul of Juneau? Too bad about the citizens who live here; they stand in the way of profit. The memorial , although it takes up a small space, keeps the docks from being built, so it must be moved. Where is not important; the prayers and visits that make this a sacred place are not important. Mammon is valued above all else. It can be said the soul of Juneau is being tested. Do we care more about profit for the few or our fishing community; those who live here, our fellow citizens who ask only that their small space remain?

Please think about it.

Dee Longenbaugh

Juneau

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