Lanny Seaton could only shake his head upon looking at the paint smeared on the solemn figure standing silently on the cenotaph in Veteran’s Memorial Park.
As a crew washed the last evidence of spray paint off the integral part of the memorial, a replica of the “Weeping Mother” statue that stands at Vimy Ridge, the Langford councillor questioned why anyone would wilfully do damage to such a sacred spot.
“That’s like going in and smashing up gravesites, it’s the same sort of thing,” he said. “After what we’ve been through as a country to go in there and spray paint the cenotaph is just disrespectful.”
Seaton said the spray bomb vandalism to the cenotaph and to elements of the kid’s play park nearby appears to have happened either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. He hoped the surveillance camera on top of the West Shore RCMP building across the street might have picked up some usable footage.
Norm Scott, first vice-president of the Royal Canadian Legion #91 in Langford, voiced similar sentiments to Seaton about the incident.
“It’s just totally disrespectful of our veterans, especially just after Remembrance Day and with the wreaths still there,” Scott said. “It’s disrespecting our veterans of today and yesterday, and it’s very sad that we have to deal with it.”
Seaton, who visited Vimy Ridge last year, said the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers were very evident there, looking out at the sea of crosses.
West Shore RCMP have opened a file on the incident and are investigating. Anyone with any information on the vandalism is asked to call 250-478-2264 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
– with files from Angela Cowan