Waders gonna wade

Tim Krepp has an interesting take on the way that the World War II Memorial is being received by the public. It turns out that the gradual steps down into the pool are too inviting: on a hot day, people want to kick off their shoes and go wading. The Park Service has attempted to maintain the solemnity of the space by posting a little NPS-brown “No Wading” sign, but as Krepp points out,

Years ago when I was in the Navy, my captain had a saying: “Every sign is a failure of leadership.” For example, if you need a sign saying “no smoking,” it’s because you didn’t properly train your sailors not to smoke in that space.

That axiom doesn’t always hold outside the closed ecosystem of a ship, but I think it pertains here. If we need a sign saying “no wading,” it’s because the design has failed to discourage wading.

Personally, I think the ring of columns owes more to Albert Speer than to paddling on the beach at Cornwall, but horses for courses.