Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

September 26, 2013

Letter: Cannon no longer belongs in town's Park


The Andover Townsman

---- — Editor, Townsman:

When I read the article about “Planners viewing future of The Park” (Aug. 29 Townsman) and saw the picture of the obsolete cannon, which has been in the park for as long as I can remember, I thought, now is the time to reevaluate its presence. When you enter the Park from the corner of Bartlet and Chestnut streets, one can not help but notice the cannon greeting everyone entering the town’s premiere greenscape. It is an impressive piece of hardware made of heavy metal and wood. I’ve asked myself many times why is this object here?

We need to be reminded about the purpose of this cannon. It is a weapon (fortunately obsolete and non-functional), designed and built for the sole purpose of killing people and causing destruction. It is a reminder of the brutal violence brought about by the weapons of war.

The Park is a peaceful and beautiful place — a place where we can relax and enjoy our wonderful town. In my opinion, our Park should not be a place to display an obsolete military weapon. The cannon may be more suited for a war museum or, if it were up to me, I would turn it into scrap metal.

With all the violence and horror we and our children are exposed to on a daily basis, the cannon is just another reminder that weapons, designed to kill and destroy, have been used by governments for problem solving and settling disagreements for far too long.

Displaying an old military weapon in a prominent place in the center of town is not unique to Andover. Towns all over New England and the country display a multitude of military paraphernalia from cannons and war planes to Army tanks. With the reevaluation of the Park property and its use, I hope the Town of Andover can set an example by saying “no” to this outdated practice.

Anyone entering this beautiful Park, especially our children, would be much better served if they saw images of people exchanging ideas and opinions leading to compromise and respect rather than having an instrument of death and destruction front and center.

I strongly encourage the town leaders to seriously consider removing this outdated relic. Weapons, killing, destruction; basically all forms of violence are just a TV or computer switch away. We don’t need a vivid reminder of this in Andover’s most serene park.

BOB ROGERS

22 Smithshire Estates