To the editor:
I still believe in my heart that there are a few things in this world that are sacred — things that make me who I am.
I think a lot of who I am comes from the fact that I am from a small town — a town where I learned you don’t mince words.
Kids are all taught a set of certain values that a person must have. They are simple things that I am sure are upheld in more towns than my own.
A few of them include you do not disrespect your elders. You do not disrespect the dead. You do not disrespect sacred, holy ground. You do not disrespect your country. And you most definitely do not disrespect our service men and women.
In my town, that was how I always thought things worked — until about a week ago.
My hometown is an amazing place, with the most amazing people. I long for it. I miss it inside all of my bones.
And even though I live 4,000 miles away, I will not stand for someone who disrespects it.
In Prairie Lawn Cemetery, the “Avenue of Flags” commemorates deceased veterans buried there. The families buy flags that are raised on poles with plaques listing the soldiers they represent.
My grandfather was one of those soldiers. My grandfather had one of those flags.
Last week, right before Memorial Day, nine of them were torn by those who have no respect for anything for which Peabody stands.
The person who did this not only disrespected the nine loving families who live each day without their loved one, but all of the veternas who are laid to rest there.
That is not who Peabody is.
So, whoever you are, have enough respect for yourself to come forward and admit that you made a mistake. Apologize to those families whom you hurt. Apologize to our town. Apologize to the kids in our city who have been given a bad name.
I doubt if that will happen, because anyone who would sneak into a private cemetery at night and rip up American flags is nothing but an insensitive coward.
Roxanne Van Gundy
North Pole, Alaska