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Women Veterans Critical of New Memorial

A statue to memorialize New York Women Veterans is being criticized by those it is supposed to commemorate.

Dolores Reed is one of the statue’s critics, and an army veteran of the Korean War. While serving her country, Reed wore a button-up shirt with a man’s-style tie and a simple skirt, sometimes fatigues. The commemorative statue however, shows a servicewoman wearing a flowing, form-fitting garment. Reed assures neither she, nor the other women in the service have ever worn such a thing.

“It’s insulting,” says Reed. “We were not there to service the servicemen and that’s what that statue represents.”

The statue has been in the works for two years and was scheduled to be unveiled today in it’s permanent residence next to the State Museum, however, production problems have delayed the unveiling until at least the end of the month.

State officials say the nine-foot statue, designed by World War II veteran and cartoonist Hy Rosen, is a representation of Lady Liberty. Critics feel the statue’s dress and pose make the woman look like a fan dancer and have dubbed it “General Godiva.”

Rosen’s design was chosen by a 15-member advisory committee of which only six were female veterans.

Female veterans have started a letter-writing campaign asking Gov. George Pataki to scrap the $300,000 memorial. The Pataki administration has not commented on the requests.

Sources:

AP - November 11, 1998