I am Matt Hanson’s aunt from Michigan and I am sad to hear that this community is arguing over whether a park should be named after my nephew.
(Editor’s note: Lance Cpl. Matthias Hanson died of combat-related injury in Afghanistan in February.)
Until Matt’s death, I didn’t understand what all military service men, women and their families signify until now. I took my freedom for granted and I am sorry for the lack of respect I showed. All military deserve to be called “heroes” for the commitments they make to protect our country.
Unfortunately, it seems they have to be injured or killed while serving during a war before this honor is labeled upon them, such as a Purple Heart.
We should be thankful to Matt, my nephews, Lowell III, Tyler and Brendan and all military because they are brave enough to defend our country. Any loss of life is hurtful to families military or none.
It’s the families, friends, county and city government that are responsible for remembering a military loved one. I am sorry the era of the Vietnam War showed little or no respect back then.
Obviously, Matt left such an impact on this community and ours that they wanted to honor his life. The community here (in Michigan) and a childhood friend pulled through and gave Matt a candlelight memorial service. Also, the Community Center dedicated the play “A Few Good Men” to Matt and all military. I understand where the Cooper family is coming from. I believe everyone should be honored, if anything is done at all. Our community here has a Veteran’s Park. It is the same park that held Matt’s candlelight memorial service in March.
I have read all the comments about this and I feel our loved ones would be so upset with us all. The effort it is taking for everyone to discuss this issue should be used to rename the park, which possibly could be Creekfront Memorial Park. I believe honoring all branches of service should be recognized. Under the branches of service, if any of the families want their loved one acknowledged, then they should be responsible to pay the cost to have the name listed. It would be wonderful if the community could pull together and raise the money to make this happen.
As far as the issue of no family being at the city council meeting, I have been told by the family that no one knew the meeting was taking place. That is because the family is not the one petitioning the renaming.
So in closing, please find in your hearts what our loved ones would want and that would be to honor them all with wonderful memories, not ones of turmoil. No matter what happens, your memories are in your heart and not a sign, tree or plaque can ever take their place.