In the end, it is all that is left to memorialize our passage through the world we live in. For a few generations, there will be personal things or a document or two in the hands of family members or friends, but over time they lose their significance. I am speaking of the granite and stone that permanently reflect our very existence. As a trooper, I was faced with irrational, puzzling and sometimes infuriating behaviors, with the destruction of property or vandalism at the top of my list.
Memorial Day, a day of remembrance originally established to commemorate the bloodiest war in our history, the Civil War, is upon us. Depraved, simple minded folks, the kind that give mankind a bad name, have chosen this day to vandalize a Vietnam-Nam War Memorial, a memorial to the veterans who have fought in wars dating back to the Revolutionary War and a Civil War National Battlefield where more than 1,000 soldiers died, fighting on both sides of this great conflict. Rational people, when they consider this aberrant behavior, shake their heads at such conduct, disgusted but resigned to the acceptance of such bone headed behavior by the miscreants who must get something out of their destructive behavior.
What possesses folks to vandalize? I am not trained in the psychological aspects of vandalism. I don’t need to be. Folks that destroy property are simple minded, self loathing cowards who elevate their stature by defacing or destroying the monuments to others. I am trying to be civil here, but believe me when I tell you how despicable this behavior is to me. When I walk through a battlefield cemetary, I see more than a name chiseled into stone. There is a story behind each name, in each mass grave, and each marker that stands against time and the elements to note something or someone who contributed to our great republic.
I have been involved in the rehabilitation of kids who spent an evening or two laughing their way through a nite of “wilding”, driving about and defacing or destroying property. It was immensely satisfying to watch them wax patrol cars or reset mailbox posts, replete with new mailboxes paid for out of their own pocket. Interestingly, time has dulled the memories of burglars that I was fortunate enough to grab, but the vandals still resonate in my mind.
Even skulking cowards, under the cover of darkness, enjoy Memorial Day…..but don’t look for them at your barbecue. They will be sleeping in to be fresh for their late night crawling about, defacing the memories that will become a part of your legacy preserved in stone.