Majority at meeting wants Desert Storm Memorial to stay put

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COLUMBIA - The public spoke out about the possible relocation of the Desert Storm Memorial at a Boone County Commission meeting Thursday.

Most of the crowd wanted it to stay at its current location, Courthouse Plaza near the Boone County Courthouse.

Many of these people were the parents of military personnel or veterans.

Sherry Wyatt lost her son in Afghanistan three years ago and finds it disrespectful that the commission is considering moving the monument.

"They gave their lives for us," Wyatt said. "They can no longer fight. Their battle is done. That is why I came today because they can no longer speak for themselves. They were there for me, and I want to be there for them."

Opponents said moving the monument would violate First Amendment rights. 

Those who want the monument moved say it violates Missouri's constitution since it contains a religious symbol and is located on government property.

The symbol is an ichthus, which is a common religious symbol associated with Jesus and looks like a fish. About a year ago that symbol was covered up.

More recently, Columbia Attorney Dan Simon filed a report claiming the monument as a whole violated the state constitution.

The next meeting about the monument will be at the Boone County Government building on August 11.