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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stupid is as Stupid Does…

Picture Courtesy of the Worcester Telegram

One of the things that tick me off the most is the desecration that our nation’s youth seem to forever perpetrate on our cemeteries. Final resting places for many loved ones that have passed become a play yard of abuse and disrespect for teens and young adults. Knocking over head stones or defacing mausoleums for a few laughs after a very much over indulgence on substances they should not have partaken has become the thing to do. Over at the Worcester Telegram and Gazette they have this latest piece on defiling the respect of our loved ones...

Thursday, May 3, 2007 Cemetery headstones toppled; video cameras to be installed
Chief said 2 girls may be vandals

By Brian Lee
SOUTHBRIDGE— Two more headstones at Oak Ridge Cemetery last weekend were toppled, allegedly by juveniles, bringing the recent vandalism count to 34 as of yesterday, town officials said. Authorities were following up on an eyewitness report that two girls between the ages of 12 and 14 were possibly responsible for the most recent acts, Police Chief Daniel R. Charette said yesterday. The Department of Public Works, which manages the town-owned cemetery on Oak Ridge Avenue that has about 4,000 headstones, is working with police to install surveillance cameras at the cemetery.
The first camera, which had been used for traffic enforcement, will be installed soon, Chief Charette said.
Thirty-two stones were toppled the weekend of April 21-22, he said. The vandalism has occurred throughout the cemetery, but most was observed on a hill near the rear of the Tri-Community YMCA. Oak Ridge Cemetery opened in 1801, according to the town’s Web site. It is open during daylight hours. The oldest damaged headstones had been snapped in half and could not be repaired, DPW workers noted yesterday. - Worcester Telegram and Gazette

Somehow it never seems that there is enough legal punishment for this kind of crime against society. We are a nation that respects our dead and for many of us that are left behind that family grave site is the one true place that we can speak our thoughts to the loved ones lost and somehow discover some form of comfort. Call it a sense of well being when you can cry for your passed child, sibling, wife, husband, parent or grand parent and not care who sees you wipe a tear or two.

How do you find that peace of mind when ignorance of what true respect is and your family’s final resting place is destroyed by idiots and vandals?

It is with sheer pleasure that I’m able to point this story out from the Houston Chronicle…

May 8, 2007, 9:49AM
Man trapped under tombstone charged with vandalism
Associated Press

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — A man found trapped unconscious beneath a 1,000-pound tombstone in a cemetery faces charges and might have to pay for damages, police said.

Michael David Schreiber's legs were broken by the stone, and the family name on the gravestone left the letter "V" imprinted on his thigh, Merrillville Officer Ray Smith said.

He said it took five officers to remove the headstone from Schreiber's body Sunday morning at Calumet Park Cemetery.

Schreiber, 22, of Merrillville faces charges of criminal trespassing, criminal mischief and public intoxication, police said. He also might be ordered to pay for damage to 14 headstones, Police Chief Nicholas Bravos said. Estimated damage totaled about $8,400, Bravos said.

Schreiber told police he and a companion had been drinking before going to the cemetery.
– Houston Chronicle

One of the things that also bother me about this sort of crime is that it is so prevalent across our nation. There is not one city across America that has not been touched by this form of youthful aggression against our society. I’m pretty sure that they are not teaching grave stone toppling 101 in our High Schools. Where does the idea to pop a few drinks or smoke some dope and do such a thing begin? That answer I do not have but I do have a suggestion on how to stop it.

In every city across this land there are many cemeteries and in those cemeteries is our individual cities history. Educating our younger generations on the past and the history of our towns and cities is very important. Class trips to the local burial grounds could point out that the big lake that they swim in wasn’t always named “The Big Lake”. It was named after this person buried here that did x y z for our town or city. Then it could be pointed out that the park in your town or city was named after this person buried here because they did x y z for the town or city. This lesson on a lifetime of achievement could be pointed out as to why certain streets in town are named what they are and where those names and people are buried.

Respect for the dead comes from many points of view and various religions but for me it is ultimately a respect for our nation’s achievers, be they great or small. Without the many trials of life that our buried dead faced, dealt with and accomplished in their life time then we would not be the people and society we are today.

Cross Posted at Bring IT ON!

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