THE EDITOR, Sir:
Last week there was a ceremony to unveil a monument to the nation's children killed violently over the last five years. This monument, nay, this monstrosity was unveiled in downtown Kingston at a cost of $10 million.
One must be deeply concerned that such a cheap and vulgar edifice could be erected in a public space, using public money, with little input from or notice to the public. That matter aside, why would anyone want to create a monument to a national shame? This crude structure makes for a morbid and hideous remembrance. We all ache for young lives lost, but as a society we seem less interested in solving the problem than in indulging our own macabre fascination with violence and destruction.
Psychologists everywhere must be shaking their heads in wonderment and disbelief. This monstrous edifice does little to pay homage to the young lives lost. In fact, we dishonour their memory by spending money to build this grotesque structure rather than putting those precious resources towards law enforcement or education. As usual, we would much rather talk about the problem than fix it. This so-called 'silent garden' is in poor state and adds to our disgrace.
Disingenuously do we bow our heads before this memorial, while passing the infant on the street selling goods on the instruction of a parent, while we observe no truancy laws, while we allow children to enter bars, while we allow bodies to lie in death in the street without erecting a barrier to prevent young eyes from absor-bing the crime scene, while failing to protect children and failing to catch those who harm them.
Ignorant and impotent are we who embrace a ghastly monument to dead children that we refused to love and protect. A farthing to five hundred children. Millions to the artist and architect. What of the other thousands lost and the others yet to meet the same fate? Yes, let us erect a monument in every town across the island, and we should spend lavishly, too, so we may loudly declare to the world that we are truly, truly lost.
I am, etc.,
SEAN A. CLARKE, JP, BA