Local Radio Station Reaches Out to VetsA local radio station is continuing it's campaign to raise awareness for the plight of the American Legion in Bradford. After learning that the American Legion in Bradford is required to pay to use Veteran's Square during Memorial Day and Veteran's Day Services, News Radio 96.7 WVTT decided to reach out to the community, and attempt to raise enough funds to cover their costs for the next five years.
Sena Kean Manor in Smethport provided a generous donation to cover the costs for 2013. "Combined with smaller donations brought in by individuals, and a donation from the Blaisdell Foundation, we're a little more than halfway to our goal," says Twin Tiers Morning News Anchor Josh Hatcher.
Hatcher says he's had conversations with city officials, who say that it would be unfair to charge anyone else if they don't charge the vets, "The town square has inscriptions all over that indicate it was dedicated for the veterans. I understand that the city has to charge people to use the square for some things, but the whole point of this particular city park is to honor the veterans for their service. Memorial Day services should be a joint service provided by the vets and the city. It's not just another rental use."
Colonial Media & Entertainment President/CEO Jeffrey M Andrulonis is an Army Vet himself, and served in the Gulf War. he says he wanted to get behind this to support the vets. "I think it's absolutely ridiculous that the city would charge for something like this. We can't necessarily change the policy, but we can stand behind our vets, and let them know that as a community, we support them."
Hatcher adds, "The worst part is that the City is charging the American Legion a rental fee to use a public address system that they purchased for the city."
In regards to the city fees, American Legion Commander Don McLelland says, "It's not really about the money, but the principal of the thing." He says he's very appreciative of the way the community is rallying in support.
News Radio 96.7 WVTT will be hosting a series of live broadcasts from Veteran's Square, starting tomorrow from 12-2PM and continuing on Monday and Tuesday of next week.