In Windham, we spend hours debating the pros and cons of skateparks, selecting cutting edge technology sure to save time and improve communication, and other ways to make life better for citizens.

While these debates are going on, our kids (not yours, not mine, but someone’s children) are vandalizing the Windham Veterans Center.

Why should this concern us? If you respect the sacrifice and service of our military men and women, it should concern you. If you don’t, shame on you.

In less than a month, on Nov. 11, we’ll mark Armistice Day, or Veterans Day as it is now called. This is one of the few holidays we leisure-time lovers haven’t managed to turn into another three day weekend and destroying the significance of the holiday

Once upon a time, what happened on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month was meant to be the end of war. Just goes to show you how naA? ?ve a civilization we really are.

Right now, one of your kid’s friends, your child, or someone you know (or you) may be getting ready to leave their home and go to Iraq – or Afghanistan or some other far from home place, their sole purpose to protect us and maintain the safety and security many of us take for granted.

How do we say thank you for their service and sacrifice, and that of their fathers and grandfathers, and generations who went before them?

Some of our younger citizens choose vandalism. They make their statement by destruction, with graffiti, by breaking things.

Recently yet another window was broken at Windham Veterans Center. This isn’t an accident, it is vandalism. It’s the stupid, unthinking act of some young person who either has no respect, or hasn’t been taught respect, for others and the property of others.

This has been going on ever since the veterans built their center 20 years ago. This was one of the best examples of community Windham has ever seen. Volunteers donated time, labor and materials and so many contributed to make the center a reality, we should all be proud. However, the building isn’t staffed all the time. This is apparently an invitation to some who get pleasure from doing damage. By the time the damage is done and noticed, those responsible are long gone.

Winter is coming making the center more accessible via snowmobiles. That’s a scary thought. Last year, one of the visitors managed to tip over a very heavy granite bench, placed in the garden in recognition of a veteran. A few years ago, newly planted trees were cut down; and numerous wheeled vehicles have been busy driving through the Memorial Park.

How can this continued destruction be controlled? How about video cameras? We have them on school buses to “catch” kids in the act of doing something they’re not supposed to be doing. Why doesn’t the community or town or someone who wants to show their concern and respect, pitch in and buy a set up similar to what they have on a school bus? Catch ’em in the act, and on film. Maybe we could even get it on YouTube or whatever the media venue of the day is.

Let’s see if the veterans think cameras might help, let’s talk with the police department to get their take on security cameras – and let’s do something about this problem before it gets worse. Let me know what you think.

See you next week.

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