Earlier this month, someone damaged the three parts of a monument at Veterans Memorial Park in Massena.
The structures list the names of people who gave financial donations to improvements at the park, including constructing the gazebo. The Plexiglas coverings on each one were broken, and a list of contributors on one of the monuments was damaged.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1144 Cmdr. Verne Drew Jr., American Legion Post 79 Cmdr. Robert LeBoeuf and AMVETS Post 4 Vice Cmdr. Tim Mattice surveyed the damage July 8. Donations will likely be needed to cover the expenses.
A veteran from Massena and his wife have offered $250 as a reward for information leading to the identity of the vandal. If police officers track down the suspect during the course of their investigation, the $250 will be used for repairs.
This is an incredibly thoughtful gesture on the part of these residents, who wish to remain anonymous. Anyone with information about the incident should call the Massena Police Department at 315-769-3577.
“This isn’t the first time the monument has been vandalized. A similar situation occurred in 2015 and 2016. Damage had been done in the fall of 2015 and, by the time May 2016 rolled around, the situation was worse, and officials said it was likely that some of the new damage had been done recently. In that case, vandals damaged two areas of the Plexiglas, and a chunk had been taken out of another area,” according to a story published July 9 by the Watertown Daily Times. “The park, which sits on the bank of the Grasse River in downtown Massena, is used for a variety of activities, such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies and weddings, and has been used in the past for events such as Concerts in the Park and Downtown Christmas celebrations.”
It’s a mystery why someone would want to damage such a beautiful monument at Veterans Memorial Park. But we should keep one thing in mind: The donations made to improve this sacred space as well as the offer of reward money remind us that what’s good about the people who live here far outweighs the bad.