Several veterans groups in New London met at the New London Veterans Memorial to protest the placement of a new garbage collection site right next to the memorial. They say the proximity of the garbage to the memorial – about 25 feet – is disrespectful.

“They were just totally, totally foolish to be able to do that, and it really dishonors all veterans,” said veteran and protestor James Jaeger.

The memorial contains the names of nearly 1,000 veterans, some from as long ago as the Civil War era.  The veterans groups say they’ve poured hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of effort into the memorial.  They also say they received no notice from the city that the garbage site was coming.

“The only way we found out (is) because they were in here working on it, starting the construction,” Jaeger said.

The site consists of a cage that houses a single dumpster, which collects trash from the adjacent building’s businesses and apartments. The veterans say that odors and spillage from the garbage site could spoil the experience of viewing the memorial

The veterans groups are now collecting signatures, which they plan to submit to the mayor and the City Council at their next meeting. Protestor Jim Karow says they want to tell the council to “take a look at it, realize that it’s gonna be a problem, and move it to another place.”

If you’d like to have your name included on the petition, you can send a message here.

If the City Council is not receptive, the next step could be trying to put the issue on the ballot in the next election.