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Moore County vets fight fast-food restaurant near memorial

Posted September 5, 2012

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— Veterans in Moore County are no strangers to a hard fight. This time, the battle is on home turf, as the former servicemen and women plead with county leaders to block the construction of a Bojangles' restaurant near their memorial on U.S. Highway 15/501 in Carthage.

Chuck Spelman, president of Moore County Vietnam Veterans, says Bojangles' has already marked the proposed construction site – a 1.3-acre grassy plot about 500 feet from the memorial – with little orange flags. The county Board of Commissioners, however, says the county-owned land has not been sold and no plans have been finalized with the fast-food chain.

Spelman said Wednesday that the area surrounding the memorial, which bears more than 7,500 names, should remain a green space.

"These families need to be able to come here in solitude and silence," he said. "I don't want to be the one memorializing these people and hearing, 'May I take your order, please?'"

He added that the memorial is likely to grow over future generations.

Meeting minutes show the Moore County commissioners discussed the Bojangles' deal in three closed-door sessions – in October, February and May.

But Commissioner Nick Picerno said the board has no intention of selling the plot until a land-use study is complete.

"This is so premature, and it's such an emotional issue, that in my vote and in my opinion, I was nowhere close to selling anything," he said. "Until we finish the land plan, (we'll) tell Bojangles' we might be interested, but we might not be interested."

Vets want Moore County to block Bojangles' near memorial Vets want Moore County to block Bojangles' near memorial

The board appointed a 10-member committee of veterans and commissioners to study whether any commercial development should be allowed near the memorial. Picerno said the county is committed to finding common ground with veterans.

"We're going to keep the sanctity of the memorial. (We) have made that vow," he said.

There is already a Hardee's restaurant on the edge of the plot near the memorial, but Spelman said it's not intrusive.

"Hardee's we don't even hear or see," he said.

He wants a quick resolution to the issue.

"We feel this is being drawn out," Spelman said. "When you go to a committee, chances are it's going to be drawn out for a longer period of time."

8 Comments

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  • Scubagirl Sep 6, 2012

    "This issue is not about taking away the freedom to put up a fast food restaurant. It is about honoring the memory and service of veterans who fought and sacrificed for this country. There are fast food restaurants on every corner and in between-- how many memorials to US veterans do you see everyday? Anyone out there who is a veteran would never support a restaurant over a this memorial. A Vietnam Veteran Union Calvary"

    Well said. I'm thinking that 'superman' is NOT, super nor a vet.

    And warbirdlover certainly adds a bit of additional info that, of course, is not in the story. But how many fast food restaurants do we really need?

  • iwannareply Sep 6, 2012

    Off topic, but the more jails we build, the more we can fill to capacity and then some. The correction system does not work.

  • Union Cavalry Sep 6, 2012

    This issue is not about taking away the freedom to put up
    a fast food restaurant. It is about honoring the memory and
    service of veterans who fought and sacrificed for this country.
    There are fast food restaurants on every corner and in between--
    how many memorials to US veterans do you see everyday? Anyone
    out there who is a veteran would never support a restaurant over a this memorial.

    A Vietnam Veteran

  • anne53ozzy Sep 6, 2012

    Perhaps both sides would be satisfied if a green barrier were planted that obscured the restaurant. It is hard to turn away new business from a community in this economy. At the same time, some consideration must be given to the nature of the adjoining property.

  • warbirdlover Sep 6, 2012

    I live in Moore County. There is more to this issue. The commissioners held illegal closed door meetings about the sale of this land. Theses meetings went against the recommendations of the county attorney. One Commissioner (Nick Picerno) sold software to the county without a bid. These commissioners also rammed a 55 million dollar, Federal size, monstrosity of a jail, built on unstable land, down Moore county residents! They have also had county employees fired that had knowledge of wrong doings with the construction of the (Gold Bar Motel). Things are Fishy within the Moore County Commissioners offices, except for Tim Lea.

  • beachboater Sep 6, 2012

    It doesn't say how far Hardee's is from the Memorial, but Bojangles would be 500 feet. That's almost 2 football fields away. Doesn't sound like it would harm the memorial.

  • iwannareply Sep 6, 2012

    We need to fight off new business.

  • superman Sep 6, 2012

    This is America. You can control what you do but you cant control who builds and lives next door. Just because you are a veteran does not give you the right to control other people and what they do. If you really fought for freedom for this country you are trying to take away the freedom from someone else. Please rethink your foolish thinking. I guess you believe that you are the only ones who deserve freedom.