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War Memorials Paint It Black, Mow Lawns, Battle Crows

Three war attractions in the news:

On Veterans Day, the town of Fruita, Colorado, unveiled its Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial Park. A centerpiece of the park is an old Huey helicopter mounted on a pole — a centerpiece seen at other memorials. But when visitors step on a platform beneath this Huey, according to an article in the Grand Junction Free Press, motion sensors trigger the song “Paint It Black,” a sound effect of air-whipping rotor blades, and a narration of the story behind the park.

Waterloo, Iowa, is ready to open its multi-million-dollar Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum on November 15. The five Sullivan brothers were from Waterloo and were all killed when their ship was torpedoed during the World War II battle of Guadalcanal. But according to the Waterloo Courier, this museum will honor all Iowan wars, not just WWII. Its exhibits will include “a present-day veteran, fitted with an artificial leg, mowing his lawn” and a replica World War I trench “complete with an authentic machine gun, trench periscope and flashing explosions” (We hope that its a superior trench to the one here).

Also in Iowa, the town of Mason City is currently contemplating open warfare over its Veterans Monument. The enemy: roosting crows. Their copious droppings have angered some locals, while their presence has been praised by others. An article in the Mason City Globe Gazette quotes a member of the Iowa Ornithologists’ Union as admiring the crows’ adaptability. The vets prefer a battle-tested approach. “Shoot crows, tie ’em on a board, and hang ’em in the trees,” says one. “We’ve got to do something. I wish you’d let us shoot ’em.”

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