Plymouth Veterans Unwilling to Go Hollywood

1214936887Generally speaking, we’re pretty excited about the explosion of films being made in Massachusetts. It’s cool to see the sights we see every day committed to film, and having stars like Kate Hudson and Ricky Gervais in town gives the gossip columnists (and local papers) something to write about.

We can deal with filmmakers representing our landmarks as other locations, but there are some things we don’t want Hollywood to mess with. Such as memorials to our veterans.

County commissioners allowed a group of film moguls from the West Coast to install a Hollywood-inspired display in front of the Plymouth County Courthouse to drum up support for their proposed film studio. The problem is, the “Hollywood East” sign eclipses a memorial to Korean and Vietnam War veterans.

Veterans and their families were understandably not amused.

“My mother, who has now passed away, was so grateful when they put up the memorial,” said John Hedge, whose brother, Robert, died in Vietnam in 1968 at age 22. “She lived right up the hill from here and used to wheel down the street with flowers to plant. . . . The family was devastated when we saw this.”

“For that to be placed in front of the two war memorials is a serious affront to veterans,” said Alba Thompson, vice-commander of the Plymouth Veterans Council. “This is just one more encroachment on veterans’ rights and privileges.”

The group responsible for the sign, Plymouth Rock Studios, pledges to remove the sign: After the Fourth of July parade makes its way past the eclipsed memorial.

Our friends from L.A. need to remember that we haven’t completely sold our souls to the culture of celebrity, and that New Englanders still value members of society who haven’t been Botoxed within an inch of recognition. We like to think it’s part of our charm.