This is a place for those in attendance at this important meeting to record their thoughts.

Here are mine!

Godsil Response to Meeting

Dear All,

I was most impressed with the power and the passion with which the veterans presented their insistence that the Soldiers Home be saved with the primary focus on uses and enterprises which directly pertain to the health of the veterans, for whom the Soldiers Home was created back around 1870.

This suggests, to me, a primary commitment to health and job development for veterans and their families. Urban farming, renewable energy experiments, green building and restoration, internet empowerment, and wholistic health offerings would seem to offer a compromise approach that would afford the city a chance to generate self-sustaining revenues while responding to veteran and community needs.

Here is a letter I sent to a professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin who believes Will Allen’s Growing Power urban and year round produce and fish farming has enormous possibility, not just in Milwaukee, but in the wider world, all the way to AIDS projects he is working on in Africa.

Here is where I am going to store my favorite Save the Soldiers Home information and opinion in 2006.

Here is where information from previous years and a concept piece inspired by the Mayor’s and Alderman Murphy’s
Op Ed piece in the “Journal.”

Veterans and civilians alike are welcome to a home page for their own Save the Soldiers Home concepts and projects at the On Line Magazine and Movement Resource.

Saving the Soldiers Home will require a Grand Alliance, a “movement!”

Washington D.C. is not going to do this for us!

It is we and the allies we can bring to a widening circle of understanding that will save the Soldiers Home for the veterans and the community.

Rocky Marcoux is happy to meet with groups of veterans and citizens at least once a month in various historic neighborhoods of our fair city. I for one prefer the meetings to happen in a local cafe around 5:30 or 6 p.m. Large public forums have a place, but not in my immediate work around this vital issue. Small is beautiful. Large meetings tend to become dominated by aggressive and loud people and/or official people on stages. Not good for developing public projects requiring nuanced experiments.

Clear sailing,


Dear All,

I failed to mention that Commissioner Rocky Marcoux and DCD’s communication director Andrea Rowe brought with them not only a comprehensive understanding of the complexities involved in saving the Soldiers Home but also open minds and hearts…

and, a brilliantly done slide show that captures the beauty, the glory, and the tragedy that is the Soldiers Home and Grounds.

The meeting lasted 3 hours(!) and allowed for some extended sharing of perspectives, fears, hopes, and hard facts for all.

The veterans, the preservationists, the internet empowerment enterprisers, and the co-op/neighborhood movement people in attendance were, in my mind, afforded an inspiring experience in participatory democracy.

Commissioner Marcoux was listening very carefully to what was being said. Citizens in attendance gave Rocky Marcoux time to develop his thoughts, and vice-versa. Andrea Rowe ably supported the Commissioner, and pledged to do her best to keep the facts coming to those who chose to become heavy lifters in the public planning process we have ahead of us.

I have every confidence we have excellent public servants in the point position for this long civic drama that can be of enormous positive value in our regaining our collective exuberance, manifest in the buildings of the Soldiers Home, created to care for the soldiers and their families, who fought the war that ended 10,000 years of state sanctioned slavery in western civilizations, created as final resting grounds for our honored dead, who were prepared to and often did give the last full measure of devotion, for a new birth of freedom addressing the unfinished work of the First American Revolution.

The Gettysberg Address Is Cast in Bronze and Set in Stone at the Soldiers Home

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we may take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

We are all shamed by the condition of today’s Soldiers Home.

But we have every reason for confidence in our collective capacities to renew these sacred buildings and hallowed grounds.


Last edited by Godsil.   Page last modified on August 23, 2006

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