To the Journal editor:
To relate the history of Father Pierre Marquette probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to you, now known as the Vandals of Marquette. We don’t know who you are, but you do, for a fact. Let me tell you a little about my history of City Park where the statue was placed 100 years ago, overlooking Lake Superior, the finest lake in the world.
It was placed in a prominent spot to show how proud we are to be from Marquette, how proud we are to honor a man of faith who founded Michigan’s first settlement. He was an important explorer, the first to map and explore the northern part of the Mississippi River.
He avidly explored much of Michigan, what is now Chicago and more. If you studied your Michigan history, you might have had respect for a man who did so much for our state. But, obviously, you skipped the class on the history of the man who did so much for us.
He died at the young age of 37, but before he died he left a legacy that none of us will ever leave. My family immigrated to Marquette from Greece. They came here to live a better life and they found it in Marquette in 1921.
During the great depression, My mother Vasiliki Krom and her best friend Evanthia Apostle came to City Park at the foot of his statue, picked dandelions to make a broth and feed their families. As children, we used to play at City Park, sitting on the steps of the statue. We came here to read, overlooking the Lake. I am now 79 years old.
I brought my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren to see the park I spent so many glorious hours as a child – they loved it as do I.
In my Georgia mountain home, have transplanted edelweiss taken from the park itself as a reminder of what beauty really is, the beauty chose to deface.
I, for one, would be happy to buy you a ticket out of Marquette, one way of course, so you might live in a place that doesn’t care about it’s history.
Please, think seriously about what you have done. Make restitution, publicly ask for forgiveness and gain peace of mind.