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OUR OPINION: Create, then properly maintain

OUR OPINION: Create, then properly maintain

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In today's Journal, staff writer Dolly Butz reports on the poor condition of the Flight 232 memorial located on Sioux City's riverfront and city plans to make repairs before the 31st anniversary of the July 19, 1989, crash.

While we are pleased to hear the site will undergo necessary work this month, we lament the fact the memorial was allowed to lapse into its current state.

Any recent visitor to the site would have left with an unflattering opinion of upkeep, as local resident Larry Finley did.

Finley, executive director of the Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation, called a City Council member after seeing unaddressed memorial maintenance needs last week, Butz reported in today's story.

"I just don't think it presents a good image of our city when we don't maintain," Finley told her.

Often in this space, we praise our community's system of parks and respect for local history as contributions to our strong quality of life. Creation of parks and historical sites is important. Proper care of them after their creation is of equal importance.

This is no blanket indictment of the city because we believe the city, overall, meets its responsibilities for maintenance of these public places. (A strategy for Flight 232 repairs was under way before Finley's call to the council member, Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore said for today's Journal story.)

Rather, we seek only to remind our community leaders of the need to remain vigilant about this obligation.

No one should argue today's condition of the Flight 232 memorial is acceptable. The sooner repairs are made, the better. Then, the city should strengthen its commitment to preventing similar degradation of the site in the future.

We second this sentiment expressed by Finley in today's story.

"Tourist season is just not July 19 for that memorial. Tourist season is any time of the year that we have people that stop by to see it. … I feel like that if we're going to have it, let's keep it looking nice 12 months a year."

Our Opinion editorials represent the consensus view of The Sioux City Journal editorial board. Members of the board include: Bruce Miller, editor; Michael Gors, editorial page editor; Dave Dreeszen; managing editor; Tim Hynds, chief photographer.

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