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Lincoln Daily News
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Lincoln, IL  62656

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Vandalism at park strikes symbol of America          Send a link to a friend

Parents, do you know where your children are?

Dear Editor:

This letter is directed to the culprits that desecrated the symbol of America -- the American flags and flagpoles in All Veterans Park -- the night of April 26.

To them I ask: Do you realize that your vandalism was not only a physical action to destroy but that you were mocking the very symbol of your own privileges of enjoying the freedoms of America?

Do you even realize that you were irreverent to those veterans whose names appear on the bricks in the Veterans Honor Roll and to whom the park is dedicated? Perhaps you have a relative or friend represented there. If so, you were most disrespectful to them and yourself, since each veteran represented there has given up their life for a period of time to go into the military service and serve as ordered, whether it be in the terrors and agonies of war or otherwise. But, they did it to preserve your freedoms that you enjoy each day.

And yes, what if you had your name on a brick and had been a hero such as those names are? How would you have felt if someone else had perpetrated such a crime against you?

Freedom is not free!! It must be won by every bit of diligence we have to preserve it. We do not desecrate those symbols that reflect their honor. Those of us responsible and respectful citizens not only appreciate their sacrifices, but we honor them and we remember them. Do you?

No, you do not! If you did, you would not have desecrated their place of honor and remembrance! Instead you would have sat or stood a few moments and said thanks to them and to God for what they did for you!

Why were you out running around at that time of night? Are you underage? If so, where were your parents? Or did you sneak out after they fell asleep? Why weren't you home, abed and being under their supervision? Parents must take responsibility and supervision of their children as well as teach them respect and responsibility. Listen to them.

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If you are adults -- shame on you!

We pray that you, whoever you are, are caught and each of you receive sentences that include the full cost of restitution for the repairs and replacements. Plus, 1,000 hours in community service, with one job being the maintaining of All Veterans Park, such as the grass-cutting with a hand-pushed mower, trimming, etc. under the supervision of Mr. Jackson, superintendent of the street and alleys, and any other menial job the city needs done.

We wish to thank the two ladies that have sent donations for the project. It is truly appreciate and financially helpful.

To the citizens, we extend our appreciation to know from your telephone calls, letters and word of mouth extended to us that we are not alone in our heartsick feelings concerning the vandalism to the park. This was truly a despicable deed.

Culprits, what have you done with the American flags that you got away with?

Please fly them proudly and in the proper manner according to the Flag Code.

No other use for them is approved or acceptable!

"God Bless America" yes, culprits, this includes you too.

Arnold and Ruth Haak
Lincoln AMVETS Post and Auxiliary 71

(Posted May 19, 2006)

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