The firestorm around the moving of the Katyn Memorial doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon. Yesterday, Mayor Fulop shared on Twitter, a rendering of the city’s plans for an “energized” waterfront walkway next to Exchange Place. It includes green space for picnics, a children’s playground, water spray station, and stages/tents for live performances.
These plans, however, do not include the Katyn Memorial, which Fulop says will be “prominently displayed somewhere else in Jersey City with community support.”
The hope was that sharing the plan would help garner more community support for the project. Unsurprisingly, it had the opposite effect. A scroll through the responses to the tweet show ever-increasing opposition to the proposal.
Similarly, in our Instagram post yesterday regarding the potential memorial move, we asked our followers to weigh in with their opinions. Not only was it our most commented post ever, but the overwhelming response has been against the move.
Fulop’s original reason for moving the memorial was that it is too violent for children to see every day. This angered not only local residents but the international Polish community as a whole who accuse the mayor of trying to erase history. Their argument is, history is gruesome and children should be aware of atrocities of the past so they can learn from them in order to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Considering the backlash, it’s surprising that the mayor continues to push this plan. Looking at the rendering, the memorial could easily be returned to its original location with only minor changes to the plan. It seems odd he is taking such a strong stance on this.
Could it be that a large developer and property owner along the waterfront, who also just happens to be bankrolling the renovation costs, is putting pressure on the mayor, who was elected to represent the people? We at Jersey Digs hope that’s not the case.
Let’s take a poll and see what the community thinks.