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Article updated: 5/26/2013 3:24 PM

Honoring veterans as monuments decay, funds dry up

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This May 23, 2013 photo shows the Waikiki Natatorium in Honolulu. A few glance curiously at the crumbling Waikiki Natatorium, a salt water pool built in 1927 as a memorial to the 10,000 soldiers from Hawaii who served in World War I. But the monumentís gray walls are caked with salt and rust, and passersby are quickly diverted by the lure of sand and waves. The faded structure has been closed to the public since 1979, the object of seemingly endless debate over whether it should be demolished or restored to its former glory.

Associated Press

This May 23, 2013 photo shows the gate to the Waikiki Natatorium in Honolulu. A few glance curiously at the crumbling Waikiki Natatorium, a salt water pool built in 1927 as a memorial to the 10,000 soldiers from Hawaii who served in World War I. But the monumentís gray walls are caked with salt and rust, and passersby are quickly diverted by the lure of sand and waves. The faded structure has been closed to the public since 1979, the object of seemingly endless debate over whether it should be demolished or restored to its former glory.

Associated Press

This September 2009 file photo shows the Wakefield, Mich. Memorial Building, in Wakefield, Mich. The memorial, built in 1924 to commemorate the sacrifices of World War I soldiers, was expansive, including a banquet hall, meeting room and theater. By the 1950s the community couldnít afford the upkeep of the building and sold it to a private owner. Over the years, there were attempts to renovate the structure. But it was deemed too expensive and by 2010, the building was demolished.

Associated Press

In this Jan. 8, 2013 photo, World War Memorial Stadium is shown in Greensboro, N.C. Greensboro residents have been grappling with what to do with the city's decaying tribute to the soldiers of World War I. The Greensboro World War Memorial Stadium hosted minor league baseball for decades and even served as a location for notable sports films such as "Leatherheads" and "Bull Durham." Yet, despite continued use by kids and college-level athletes, the structure is falling into disrepair.

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About this Article

Corroding monuments have challenged communities to maneuver a delicate question: How do we honor those who have served when memorials deteriorate and finances are tight? Sometimes, communities decide that memorials aren't worth the price.
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    • This May 23, 2013 photo shows the Waikiki Natatorium in Honolulu. A few glance curiously at the crumbling Waikiki Natatorium, a salt water pool built in 1927 as a memorial to the 10,000 soldiers from Hawaii who served in World War I. But the monumentís gray walls are caked with salt and rust, and passersby are quickly diverted by the lure of sand and waves. The faded structure has been closed to the public since 1979, the object of seemingly endless debate over whether it should be demolished or restored to its former glory.
    • This May 23, 2013 photo shows the gate to the Waikiki Natatorium in Honolulu. A few glance curiously at the crumbling Waikiki Natatorium, a salt water pool built in 1927 as a memorial to the 10,000 soldiers from Hawaii who served in World War I. But the monumentís gray walls are caked with salt and rust, and passersby are quickly diverted by the lure of sand and waves. The faded structure has been closed to the public since 1979, the object of seemingly endless debate over whether it should be demolished or restored to its former glory.
    • This September 2009 file photo shows the Wakefield, Mich. Memorial Building, in Wakefield, Mich. The memorial, built in 1924 to commemorate the sacrifices of World War I soldiers, was expansive, including a banquet hall, meeting room and theater. By the 1950s the community couldnít afford the upkeep of the building and sold it to a private owner. Over the years, there were attempts to renovate the structure. But it was deemed too expensive and by 2010, the building was demolished.
    • In this Jan. 8, 2013 photo, World War Memorial Stadium is shown in Greensboro, N.C. Greensboro residents have been grappling with what to do with the city’s decaying tribute to the soldiers of World War I. The Greensboro World War Memorial Stadium hosted minor league baseball for decades and even served as a location for notable sports films such as “Leatherheads” and “Bull Durham.” Yet, despite continued use by kids and college-level athletes, the structure is falling into disrepair.
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