WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — The Wildwood American Legion is now petitioning to bring the statue of Kate Smith to town. It comes after the mayor of Wildwood said he also wants the statue, which was removed from the sports complex by the Philadelphia Flyers.
American Legion Post 184 “will be happy to put the statue at the post,” post commander Harry Weimar told Eyewitness News. A petition will be available on Legion184.org for people to sign and show their support.
“’God Bless America’ represents every veteran,” Weimar said. “Every veteran is affected by this. As far as I am concerned, Kate Smith is Miss Patriotism.”
Mayor Ernie Troiano says he’d love to have the statue in Wildwood, perhaps even on the boardwalk.
On Monday, Troiano announced Smith’s version of “God Bless America” will still be played daily at 11 a.m.
“I agree with Mayor Troiano. I feel Wildwood is a very veteran-friendly city and there would be no bigger honor than to have Kate Smith here in Wildwood,” said Weimar. “Myself and Post 184 fully support the Mayor. There is no other non-veteran that I know who supports the veterans as much as Ernie does.”
The controversy surrounding Smith erupted after it came to light that she recorded at least two racist songs back in the 1930s. Both the Flyers and New York Yankees have said they will no longer play her rendition of “God Bless America.”