Almost immediately upon my arrival to Jyväskylä a few years ago I got the impression that this little city could actually become my home. The process actually didn't take that long to complete. For quite some time now I have felt like this is where I want to live and occasionally I have been know to sing the praises of my city in the entries that I have made in this blog. As a resident of this jewel in the crown of Central Finland I also feel obligated to point out things that don't work so well, things that are in need of fixing.
Today is one of those days. Something in Jyväskylä needs to be fixed and I'm not talking about the city council and its decision-making process. Its a real, tangible item in despair. I'm talking about this monument which is located across from city hall. It is a flagpole with a black granite wall inscribed with the text "Erected in the honor of the 50th anniversary of Finnish Independence. 6.12.1967".
Already from a distance you will notice that something about this monument just isn't quite right. There is a gaping hole in the wall where a slab of black granite should be.
Upon closer inspection it could not possibly escape your attention that this monument is in need of a bit of maintenance or even a complete rebuild. The mortar is crumbling in the seams and as we noticed from afar, an entire slab of granite is missing.
I should mention that this monument is located across the street from city hall. It has been in this decrepit state for at least a couple of years now. I'm not sure about how other residents of our city feel, but frankly I find the condition that this monument is in to be monumentally embarrassing. I've translated the text on this monument for foreign friends on a few occasions and one, who shall remain unnamed, remarked - "That peace of crap is a monument to Finnish independence?"
Unfortunately the crappiness of this historical marker isn't restricted to its front side. The back of it is in an even more humiliating state of repair. The black granite is gone altogether and has been replaced with cracked and rotting plywood that has been painted black. This shantytown repair job has been in effect for as long as I can remember.
I wonder how long the city intends to neglect this monument? I think that if they took the time to put this memorial up, perhaps we could take the time to take care of it once and a while.
Jyväskylä is my city and I am rather proud of it. I sure wouldn't mind if our elected decision makers felt the same sense of pride and went on to show it by having this monument to the nations independence restored.
Maybe once the take care of this repair job the can get to work on the sauna that our city owns, down by the beach at the former campground at Tuomiojärvi.