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June 26, 2008 - Dan Voigt
Like many people in Emmetsburg, I'm disgusted by the vandalism that occurred to the statues at the Veterans' Memorial last weekend. A lot of people are upset, some are deeply hurt by the act, but one thing everyone wonders is, quite simply, "Why?" These four statues have been standing at the memorial site for a couple of weeks, as workers have been constructing the mounting bases for the statues. The mounting blocks were finished just last week, and of course, some completely thoughtless low-life creature or creatures decided it would be "fun" to destroy the statues. Like the true "heroes" they conceived themselves to be, the "brave" act was done in the dead of night, with the hopes that no one would see them in the act. Gee, it must be so disappointing to know that you accomplished such a "wonderful" act of protest, revolt, or asinine, thoughtless stupidity, and now you can't publicly take credit for it. Actually, for your own sake, it's probably best that you can't take credit for it - you'e probably better off (and safer) being anonymous. Make no mistake - you screwed up big time, major league bad. If you think this will all blow over in a couple of weeks and everyone will forget, not a chance. There are people in this community and area who fought, bled, and saw their best friends die in horrible circumstances just so you could walk around freely and do what you did Saturday morning. You can be assured if you'd done something like this in a country such as Iran, you may have escaped, but your family would have been tracked down, hunted down like animals, and they would have disappeared in the middle of the night, never to be seen again. Or, perhaps you'd have been apprehended. Perhaps your punishment would have been something appropriate to the crime - Having your hands whacked off with a sword, or your feet crushed with a sledge hammer. Maybe I'm a bit extreme....but then again, you started this whole thing. I talked to a couple of veterans in the past few days. Are they upset? Oh yeah, that's a mild term for it. One said he hoped you'd be required to come to the VFW and apologize to the veterans, explain why you did what you did, and pay for the damage. There was also a reference to the term "gut-shot" in the conversation as well. So you don't think what you did was any big deal. OK, that's your right - a right that you enjoy because for over 200 years, people, just like those represented by those statues, have fought and died to maintain the liberty and freedom you enjoy. And this is how you thank them for their sacrifice. Yes, I'm angry, and so are a lot of people. I don't hear anyone cheering about what was done. I don't hear anyone saying, "Oh, we should feel sorry for these people, they must have issues to have done something like this." The only issue they have is the fact that they have no life, no common sense, and above all else, no brains at all in their head. By the way, don't bother blaming this on a drunken prank, either. No one was forcing them to drink. It's all a matter of choice - and our "brave" vandals made their choice - the wrong choice. But what's done is done. A substantial reward is in place, and it is growing. The Police have made finding the perpetrators of this incident a priority. While some say living in a rural area is a negative, it will be a positive, because in a small community, secrets don't stay secret very long. Yes, there are a lot of unhappy people out there, feelings are hurt and passions are running high. Yet, we are all taught by our creator that we should forgive those who trespass against us. I'm sure that in time, albeit it a long, long time, this wound will heal, and there will be forgiveness of those who committed this act. But for now, the question to ask and be answered is still, "Why?"
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