The LONG BEACH PATCH has an amazing piece written by Gloria Febrizio titled “Is Long Beach America’s Healthiest Cemetery?” Gloria writes that the city has a lot of different memorials all throughout town and more could be on their way. From the article:
I totally respect the idea of remembering our departed loved ones in whatever way we deem appropriate. However, I must ask: Have we gone too far? Did we change the adage of Long Beach from “America’s healthiest city” to “You are entering the Long Beach City cemetery”?
I think she is 100% right. Simply put: Long Beach is in some ways a graveyard. Before people start blasting me for saying that, please hear me out. First of all, I love this city; that is why I live here and that is why I’ve been writing this blog for almost three years. BUT there are way too many memorials around town: the benches on the boardwalk, memorial gardens & benches in the medians, statues for fallen heros, bricks at Kennedy Plaza, and whatever else is on the bay side. We are overflowing with memorials! I can actually see two from my living room window! To top it all off, the city is possibly looking to add more! Signs under trees? Sounds like a mess! All due respect: I really do think these memorials give our town a soul and character. I’m not asking for anything to be taken away, but do we really need more?
I think it’s about time we start to think outside the box. We have plenty ‘of stuff’ that reminds us of the dead, but what about the living? Lets also celebrate life! Why does every single statue, median, square & park space have to be a dedication? Can’t we have some fun here too? Why can’t we have a statue for the sake of art? Something that will give us a smile. Something that will give this town a new kind of character that it sorely lacks.
I have an idea: How about a statue of that sand mermaid that everybody loved so much last summer? Somebody give that sculptor a rock and lets pick a spot! Lets do something that will give our great city by the sea an identity for a change. All due respect to the memorials, can we leave some space for some fun too? I’m sure we have room for both.
Thank you Gloria for writing that wonderful article. I am not sure if you 100% agree with my take on it, but I applaud you for having the guts to write about something that some people might take the wrong way.
PS, Event Reminder: Don’t forget that the ceremony for the renaming of the Long Beach bridge is on March 25th.