LETTER: Cenotaph vandalism a disgrace


Editor: My Grandfather fought in the First World War, volunteering on August 10, 1914 to join The First Canadian Battalion in Europe.

He inhaled gas in the trenches of Belgium, never for the rest of his life regaining the full use of his voice.

He was shot and wounded at the 1916 battle at Ypres from German machine gun fire, while watching comrades around him die from the same gunfire.

He did this to protect our freedoms; the freedom to disagree with our government in peaceful protest, amongst other freedoms.

A cenotaph was constructed in downtown Chatham seven years after his wounding to honour the sacrifice of his colleagues who gave their lives alongside of him to protect our freedoms.

Once again, in a heinous crime, some societal leeches, who expect to be given everything while contributing nothing, have defaced that cenotaph, requiring a specialist company from Sarnia to come to Chatham one more time to remove the blasphemy from the stone.

That cenotaph represents the sacrifice of generations of local people who have given their lives in multiple wars to defend our rights.

How can this memorial be continually vandalized year after year with no repercussions to the scourges on society who do this? Why is there no real penalty meted out, on the long shot that our law enforcement people actually apprehend the perpetrators?

How can the municipality budget $6 million for a bike path along the Thames River, but cannot spring for a half a dozen security cameras to monitor the cenotaph?

Oh, how foolish of me. Dead people don’t vote!

A simple infrared beam encircling the cenotaph could alert the local police station if a person approached within a pre-defined perimeter of the monument, with the ability to dispatch the closest police officer to investigate, day or night.

I had hoped that the election this past October would bring some new blood to municipal council that would actually be concerned with Chatham-Kent and what happens here, but no, we have the same-old, same-old professional bench sitters agreeing to every whim of administration.

Nothing has changed. The tail is still wagging the dog.

David Goldsmith



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