Peace Loving Criminals

03Jul09

Vandals Deface World War II Monument in Wakefield, Massachusetts
World War II MemorialI considered ignoring the recent spate of vandalism that has seen the World War II Monument on the Common desecrated and the bandstand marred by graffiti. The pacifist criminals spray painted “War is not the answer,” and a peace symbol on the World War II monument. They also painted the word “LOVE” across the Bandstand, with the “O” turned into a peace symbol. How original.

Vandalism of War Memorial

It would make sense to ignore it because what these peace-loving vandals probably want is attention. Not the kind of attention that results in taking responsibility and facing the consequences for their actions. In our current age of moral relativism, who are we to pass judgment?

But the vandalism of the World War II Monument insults the memory of and the sacrifices made by the 2,466 Wakefield citizens who served and the 71 who gave their lives in World War II. Their names are mounted on that monument, and it is their names, not just a structure, that were desecrated. Those men were heroes.

The kindest word I can think of to describe those who defaced the monument is “ignorant.” They are certainly ignorant of history. By painting “War is not the answer” on the World War II Monument, I assume that the vandals are suggesting that the Second World War should not have been fought. I guess they are saying that the Allies should not have gone to war in order to halt Hitler’s attempt to conquer Europe and stop his program of genocide aimed at Europe’s Jews.
Bandstand vandalism
How about the Civil War, the bloodiest in our history? I guess the peace-loving vandals are telling us that President Lincoln should have known that “War is not the answer,” and for the sake of peace recognized the Confederacy and permitted it to continue and expand the practice of slavery.

We’ll probably never get answers from our local graffiti artists to questions like these, because it’s unlikely that these great thinkers have the decency to come forward, much less explain their actions and accept the consequences.
Gold Star Wreath
The vandals spray painted directly over the names of the 71 Wakefield citizens who were killed in World War II. In a particularly dispicable touch, the vandals also destroyed the nearby Gold Star wreath – dedicated to parents of soldiers killed in action.

A Wakefield Daily Item Item editorial earlier this week wondered why anyone would commit such an act of desecration upon the memories of our bravest citizens.

Since we likely won’t ever know who perpetrated these despicable acts or why, we can feel free to draw our own conclusions as to their identities and motivations.

It’s safe to conclude that whoever defaced the World War II Monument has never served in the military. I’ll also go out on a limb and bet that the pacifist spray painter is not related to any of the 2,466 men whose names are on that monument. I’ll also guarantee that he was not at the recent Memorial Day observance held in front of that monument, nor has he ever attended any Memorial or Veterans’ Day ceremonies. I think we can be sure that the perpetrator has not made a donation toward the town’s recently announced plans to replace that decaying wood monument with a new, granite memorial.
Chief Master Sgt. Alfred Wilkes, USAF
Bashing America seems all the rage these days, even in the highest halls of our own government. I’ve actually had people tell me that they are offended when patriotic songs like the National Anthem or “God Bless America” are played at sporting events. Should we be surprised if our local vandals think that by defacing patriotic memorials they are simply expressing the prevailing anti-American sentiment?

It would have been easy to ignore the pathetically naïve graffiti that defaced the World War II Monument. But my father’s name and my uncle’s name are on that Monument along with the names of nearly 2,500 Wakefield citizens who defended their country and helped free the world from tyranny.

The anonymous cowards who would deface the names of our bravest citizens should not go unanswered.

[This column originally appeared in the July 2, 2009 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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