Vandals smash up war graves

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by Verrieres, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. Bernhart

    Bernhart Member

    Thousands gather at damaged cenotaph for Remembrance ceremony in Fredericton
    11/11/2009 5:09:00 PM
    Kevin Bissett, THE CANADIAN PRESS
    FREDERICTON - Thousands of people lined streets in Fredericton Wednesday for a Remembrance Day ceremony at the provincial cenotaph which had been damaged by vandals just days earlier.

    Wreaths and poppies adorned the spot where a large granite cross had stood for decades.
    The remains of the cross were hauled away Tuesday after it had been toppled and broken over the weekend.
    "I'm so outraged," said veteran Bob Lockhart. "I think it's the most contemptible thing that I can possibly imagine."
    He wasn't alone with that opinion.
    "It makes us all sick to see that," said Rod While of Fredericton. "Especially at this particular time, and with our young men and women in Afghanistan doing the things that need to be done to ensure freedom for the rest of us."
    One woman, who didn't want to be named, called it shameful, sad and horrifying.
    "I just can't believe anyone in our city would do such a thing . . . it just breaks my heart," she said.
    The cross, which stood almost three metres high, is now in a number of pieces and will require extensive work if it is to be repaired.
    "It was a cowardly act of vandalism," said Fredericton MP Keith Ashfield.
    Ashfield and Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside have committed to having the cross repaired and a local masonry company has offered to do the work for free.
    "We will make sure that this is made right," Ashfield said Wednesday.
    Const. Ralph Currie of the city police force said officers are still investigating the incident, but so far they have no suspects.
    Despite the missing cross, the annual ceremony went ahead as usual.
    The crowd included many soldiers and their families from nearby Canadian Forces Base Gagetown.
    "Both Oromocto and Fredericton have really shown their support for us active members," said Sgt. John Towers. "All of us presently serving know people who have died overseas giving the ultimate sacrifice for our country."
    Reports about the vandalism at the cenotaph had been in the news for days leading up to the service, and while some people said it was part of their reason for attending, organizers said they couldn't be sure it was a reason for the large turnout.
    "Afghanistan has certainly had a big bearing on bringing war back into peoples' eyes, and I think it really has made a difference," said legion member David Smith.
    But during his address, Jean-Guy Perreault, president of Fredericton Branch 4 of The Royal Canadian Legion said he worried that stories from soldiers in previous conflicts would fade away, and not be remembered for the future.
    "How do we pass along the torch to our young children?," he asked. "How will generations of the future know and understand?"

    Unfortunately not an isolated thing, also someone painted swastika on the one in woodstock...
  2. Ferahgo

    Ferahgo Senior Member

    There is an alarming increase on attacks against our heritage, poppy tine stolen, memorials desecrated and vandalised...I hate it. So much effort goes into keping everything perfect and respectful, not to mention that this is all done in memory of the fallen and the veterans, then scum come along and do their most to destroy sickens me to the core.
    This also leads onto the question, what would you do if you saw this? Personally i would call the police then wade in to keep them there until the police arrive. I'm not violent...but don't push me.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    It does make me wonder who these 'memebers of the community' are that are commiting these acts? I know some will still the plaques because of the growing price in metals as scrap but to vandalise them?

    I pick my colleague up and drop him off home when I travel to and from work. He lives in Beeston which is one of the main Asian communities in Leeds. We drive past two war memorials twice a day one in a church and the other on some communial ground and they are, I'm pleased to say, immaculate.

    The only memorial I have ever seen in person damaged was in Sheffield of a WW1 soldier statue that was minus a bayonet on the end of his Lee Enfield.
  4. L J

    L J Senior Member

    The same happened in Antwerp (Belgium) on 11 november ;and regular 'ordinary' graves are demolished;maybe some corporal punishment should help . I am sixty,thus it will pass my time,but I am afraid for the next generation,I wouldn't to be twenty to day .
  5. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Anglican Church and UK condemn desecration of Jerusalem graves
    The Anglican Church and United Kingdom have expressed "dismay" at an attack on a historic cemetery close to Jerusalem's walled Old City.

    More than 30 graves at the Protestant Cemetery on Mount Zion were desecrated on Sunday. Crosses were broken and headstones toppled and smashed.


    The tombstone of British Army soldier Private J Stewart was among those destroyed
    Three Commonwealth war graves of Palestinian police officers were among those attacked, while several stone crosses were seen lying broken on the ground.

    The Anglican Church said the targeting of the crosses clearly suggests "these criminal acts were motivated by religious bigotry and hatred against Christians".

    The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) told the BBC it was "appalled" by the vandalism.

    "A very small number of CWGC headstones were damaged - we are co-operating closely with the authorities on the matter and our in-country staff are already working to carry out full repairs and return the graves to their normal condition," a spokesperson said.

    The same cemetery was vandalised in a similar way nine years ago.

    The Anglican Church said it had received supportive words from Israel's president, the chief rabbi of the Commonwealth, Sir Ephraim Mirvis, and other political and religious leaders.

    It called for join efforts to combat "violent acts of defilement against sacred sites" and to create a safer, more respectful and tolerant environment in Jerusalem, which is revered by Christians, Jews and Muslims.

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