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1998 Closed threads from 1998 (read only)

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Old 31 December 1998, 01:11 AM   #1
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For those of you interested in my (very long term) efforts to replace the missing plaque on Frank Luke's monument in Murveaux, France, here's what I know so far:

Letters to the American Battle Monuments Commission have determined that the monument in question is not under their jurisdiction. Rather than dumping me out in the cold, however, a kind man named Mr. Hooker has contacted me and told me of his intent to find out from the mayor of Murveaux just who is responsible for the monument. I've also received the sad but anticipated news that nothing in France is easy, thanks to the multiple and often overlapping layers of beaurocratic stupidity. I've been warned repeatedly that you simply cannot arrive with a new plaque and stick it up there. Doing anything that easily would no doubt displace several government workers from their jobs and force them into a real life employment situation where they clearly could not function.

My latest note from Mr. Hooker:

"Mr. Skinner - I sent a reminder to the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery superintendent
concerning the monument for Lt. Luke. I will be transferring any information I
receive. Regards, Hans Hooker"

At this point, Mr. Hooker's kindness is our best hope for finding out just who is in charge around here. In the meantime, I have not made any efforts to start a fund toward this end. I'm sure that donors will feel much better once we have better and more complete information on the subject, and specifically, what we can do.

Again, we are dealing with governments and their employees, so we must fully anticipate making progress at roughly the same rate as a polar ice flow, with about half the intelligence. I am still hoping against hope that this will be one of the few monuments erected by an enterprising individual so that something concrete can actually be accomplished.

But for all our forumite Frankophiles, now you know. More information forthcoming as it can be forcibly extracted. Stay tuned.
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Old 31 December 1998, 02:05 AM   #2
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Individual contributions are a start, but what about corporate donations to cover both the cost of the memorial and if necesary, for the linings of the certain French pockets? If approached properly with the making and success of Mutley's movie, coporate contributions should not be such a difficult thing.
Old 31 December 1998, 02:30 AM   #3
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I don't believe funding will be a problem for the simple reason that a plaque - and the plaque is all that's missing - should not be too terribly expensive. Also, if it's corporate donations we're after, I'd likely start with the Luke family's car dealerships in Arizona.

Good point about lining pockets, but if that happens, I doubt that it will be in the sneaky, communist-block style underhandedness. More likley in the form of fees, licenses, permits, and various other forms of disguised taxation. I would only expect those various taxes to be criminally inflated if a) the government agency in question is required to survive off the fees they collect, or B) if they realize that we are privately funded and from outside the country. If those two things happen, then we'd all better bend over.
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Old 31 December 1998, 07:50 AM   #4
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Stephen: Good on ya for your good works. It occurs to me that one (maybe the only) way of circumventing the storied French bureaucracy might be to get the US Gummint directly involved. The US Embassy in Paris certainly has an air attache', and if it became known that Uncle Sugar's air force takes a direct interest in restoring the monument to one of its fallen eagles, well...
"It couldn't hoit."
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