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Flagstaff has historically been unique. A significant part of that history is Buffalo Park and our iconic buffalo at the front gates.

At one time there were real buffalo in the park. They were vanquished because they broke down the fences, created traffic jams and dined on neighbors' gardens. But the statue stands as a memory of that. How many times do we see families, graduates in their gowns, newlyweds having their pictures taken in front of and frequently on top of the buffalo? He is part of our heritage and our vision of Flagstaff as a community.

Someone wrote a letter to the editor and asked what next would be devalued. This is a significant question.

Flagstaff is and has been singular. We were the first in Arizona to ban smoking in public places. Naysayers predicted our tourism trade would crash. No. We were the first dark skies city in the nation. We were first to have an invaluable seed repository, one of several worldwide sites to protect indigenous and threatened plant species. Our farmers market is and has been the premier model in our state and is a huge draw from all over.

Something spectacular about Flag is our volunteerism. Volunteers will be there if you have a need.

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Through the years, people wanted to remove the train engine with its logging car downtown and Lou Bader's Eagle statue because they were passe. Both are representative and have remained as a tribute to our past and to our future.

Those who don't respect and learn from their history can have no road map to the future. Please honor both.

SANDRA REIFF

Flagstaff

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