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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008
Wesley Bolin Plaza

The other day I had some time to kill between appointments so I did something I hadn't done for a while; I wandered through Wesley Bolin Plaza and looked at the various memorials.

If you haven't been to the Plaza, it's a large open-air public space located just east of the Capitol and surrounded by the state office buildings and has numerous memorials and monuments. So think Washington Mall but a bit less striking.

There are times where I feel like Lileks, getting caught up in the various minutiae of everyday life, and this is one of them. Each of those memorials and monuments represented a significant effort by someone to get it funded, approved, and constructed; someone really had to care to build that police dog memorial, someone had alot of passion and drive in them to get that one for Arizona Confederate Veterans or whatever. I may not care but someone else did.

But why? There's a story behind each of these and whatever I may think of the worthiness of the cause there is that passion behind it and therefore in the hands of a skilled researcher and writer, a nice story could be drawn out. However outside of the 9/11 Memorial and perhaps the Code Talkers, it's hard to find anything about the history of any of those effort.

So here's my suggestion... cost-effective and just a plain win-win for everybody.

Go to ASU (or UA and NAU) and look up the History Department. Stumbling around that department are a bunch of grad students looking for thesis and dissertation topics, put them on the case. Heck throw them a small stipend or some other bennie. Have them research the various memorials, interview the benefactors or supporters, the members of the commission that approved that particular project.

It works for everyone. We get a piece of our history documented, the people behind the projects get recognized, and a bunch of grad students will be rescued from writing their dissertations on socially transgendered relations in 19th Century Yuma.

I mean come on, don't you want to know the history behind the "Arizona Law Enforcement Canine Memorial"?