Canal walk, War Memorial Park anything but respectful to vets

Last Sunday morning I decided to take the dog for a long walk. So, my Goldendoodle and I — along with my sister from Cincinnati and her puppy — ventured down the steps of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, crossed the parking lot for City Hall and entered into the Tri-State War Memorial Park and then on to the Middlesboro Canal Walk.

Since moving to Middlesboro in January, I have been impressed both by the warmth of the people as well the quaintness of the town itself. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that way Sunday morning. I was shocked, disappointed and embarrassed at the condition of both the park and the canal walk.

Trash receptacles were overflowing, fast food wrappers and empty water and soda bottles were strewn everywhere and the canal itself was filled with everything from trash to grocery carts. Not what I was expecting on this otherwise beautiful Sunday morning.

I thought that there had been some type of gathering on Saturday night. However, on another visit, conditions were the same. This park, dedicated to our veterans from World War I, II, Korea and Vietnam, was anything but respectful of those who had served and who are honored here. In addition, our walk along the canal would have left me anxious had I been by myself.

The canal walk and the War Memorial Park should be a great resource of this community. Whether it be a place for quiet reflection, a gathering of friends, or a stroll along the canal, it should reflect the beauty of Middlesboro and the people who live here.

Share with us here at the Daily News your ideas of how to keep both these community gems in a condition we can all be proud of. Email me at rita.haldeman@middlesborodailynews.com.