Battlefield yobs

by Fred Ray on June 11, 2006 · 0 comments

Few things get me as angry as battlefield vandalism. A few Americans seem to have a hard time understanding that there’s something special about a place that men a lot braver than them bled and died. Journalist Jack Wilkenson has a look at the problem in the Atlanta Constitution-Journal:

“How could anybody feel it’s an appropriate thing to do?” asked Sam Weddle, the chief ranger at Chickamauga. “It’s an atrocity.”

“That’s like a violation of the country, of history,” said Javier Torres, a 40-year-old California businessman who was photographing an open field where, in September 1863, hundreds of the 4,329 soldiers killed in the two-day battle of Chickamauga died.

“I’m Mexican, but I’ve been in this country since I was 2 years old,” said Torres, a U.S. citizen and Army veteran. “The men who died here, they fought for everybody. It’s so beautiful here, and for people to vandalize this place, it’s like spitting on it.”

Vandalism is happening at many of the parks, in a variety of ways. Some vandals use trucks and chains to topple statues.

And then there’s paintball, which lately has become the most destructive Civil War ammunition. Early this year, rangers at Chickamauga discovered several monuments had been defaced by paintball.

Two local high school students, who’d spent an afternoon practicing their target shooting, bragged about it at the store where they bought their supplies. The proprietor turned them in.

If you catch anyone at this, please do the right thing (ignore the urge to beat the crap out of them) like the good citizen above and turn them in. Then write the judge and demand they get a stiff sentence.

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