There’s a storm brewing at the University of Washington, where students have rejected a proposed memorial to one of the school’s bravest military heroes. WND has the write-up on the debate, first noted by my good friend, stalwart conservative KVI talk show host, Kirby Wilbur:
The University of Washington’s student senate rejected a memorial for alumnus Gregory “Pappy” Boyington of “Black Sheep Squadron” fame amid concerns a military hero who shot down enemy planes was not the right kind of person to represent the school.
Student senator Jill Edwards, according to minutes of the student government’s meeting last week, said she “didn’t believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce.”
Ashley Miller, another senator, argued “many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men.”
Senate member Karl Smith amended the resolution to eliminate a clause that said Boyington “was credited with destroying 26 enemy aircraft, tying the record for most aircraft destroyed by a pilot in American Uniform,” for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.
Smith, according to the minutes, said “the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington’s service, not his killing of others.”
The senate’s decision was reported first by Seattle radio talk-host Kirby Wilbur of KVI, whose listeners were “absolutely incensed,” according to producer Matt Haver.
Brent Ludeman, president of the university’s College Republicans, told WND in an e-mail the decision “reflects poorly on the university.”
“Pappy Boyington went beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country – he simply deserves better,” Ludeman said. “Just last year, the university erected a memorial to diversity. Why can’t we do the same for Pappy Boyington and others who have defended our country?”
A blogger who knew Boyington is livid, and shares his thoughts at Paradosis.
Background on Boyington here.
Bloggers on top of the story:
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The blog news and the draft minutes that were posted are inaccurate. First, Ashley Miller’s statements were highlighting, as a point of information, that the majority of our statues are white males, which was an issue previously addressed last year, this is not in any way meant to go against Colonel Boyington. It was noted by the sponsor, Andrew Everett, about Boyington’s heritage later. Jill Edwards made here statements as an individual, and it should not be assumed she speaks for all students. Karl Smith wanted to honor his service as a whole (he risked his life, endured 20 months in a POW Camp) in an effort to bring more support from a number of students who do not morally agree with war. These statements are in public discourse that has been and will always be at the University of Washington to educate on the questions and issues of our society.
I would also like to remind you that as ASUW President I cosponsored this bill to create a memorial, it failed by one vote, and a good majority of those who voted against it wanted more inclusion of other alumni who were combat veterans who earned the Medal of Honor. This week a new resolution to that effect is being drafted and introduced. In the meantime the ASUW supports veterans in other ways, currently we are supporting state legislation that will hopefully pass and guarantee veterans tuition waivers. In the end, the buck stops here, I would appreciate further comments to be made to me. Please do not participate or condone the hate-filled comments and phone calls made toward individuals in our student government. It has been appalling to see what is being said to people. I too am nauseated.
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