One of the fundamental problems with America today, as a nation and a television audience, is a lack of reverence. We lack reverence for the elderly. We lack reverence for those who served our country in war. And, above all, we lack reverence for Hill Street Blues star Daniel J. Travanti. That is why I swear to you, before God Himself, that there will be an 80-foot statue of Daniel J. Travanti if I have to build it myself.

Such a statue would properly immortalize Mr. Travanti, joining as it would the existing 80-foot statues of Ed Marinaro, Betty Thomas and Michael "Let's Be Careful Out There" Conrad, completing the statuary pantheon of Hill Street Blues personages.

Does the need for such a statue exist, you ask? Sadly, it does. Had I not mentioned that Daniel J. Travanti was a member of the Hill Street Blues cast, would you have known who he is? Probably not. Such is the sorry state of contemporary American media awareness. Yes, this statue, a tribute to a towering 1980s television icon, is all too necessary.

Of course, I hear you ask, "But won't such a statue be expensive?" Not for a nation that, as you are no doubt aware, saw fit to surround the White House with 60-foot bronze statues of every person who ever guest-starred on The Equalizer. And remember, I said that, if necessary, I would sculpt Daniel J. Travanti's image myself. And I damn well meant it.

So what do I, a lowly part-time blender salesman, know of statues? Not much, perhaps, at the moment. But I submit to you that it is no harder to learn the craft of statue-building than it is to obtain every second of Daniel J. Travanti footage in existence and view it frame by frame while making detailed notes on his posture, facial expressions and speech. That project necessitated my move to part-time employment, as it took me well over 10 years of 40-hour weeks to complete.

While I have no doubt that constructing an 80-foot statue will not be easy, my commitment to the task is great, as great as the passion Daniel J. Travanti brought to the role of Frank Furillo, the quiet yet forceful police captain who battled daily with killers, thieves and drug lords, not to mention the oft-infuriating gang of oddball cops who made up his force.

People assume that the Daniel J. Travanti statue will be placed in Daniel J. Travanti's birthplace of Kenosha, WI. That is a fine and sentimental choice, and I respect you for thinking so. But I would argue that the backyard of my half of a duplex in Secaucus, NJ, is a superior location. Not only is Secaucus located just a few miles from New York City, giving the people of our nation's largest metropolis easy access to the Travanti monument, Secaucus also happens to be the home of the Daniel J. Travanti Hall Of Fame, conveniently located in my living room.

Daniel J. Travanti, Hill Street Blues star, Emmy-winning star of the 1983 made-for-TV movie Adam, is a giant among men. His deeds humble us and remind us that we could live better, more meaningful lives. A monument is the least we can do to honor such a man.