Honor remains intact after vandalism

They answered their country’s call. They entered harm’s way. They stood in the line of fire. And to their everlasting honor, they took a bullet.

That devotion to duty and country is what the Purple Heart monument stands for at the Veterans Memorial Park in Houghton. It will always stand in tribute to that sacrifice of American treasure and blood, even when it is vandalized, as it was late last week as the country headed into its Independence Day celebration.

Also damaged was a plaque honoring those who gave the supreme sacrifice, the last full measure of devotion – their lives – in literally saving Western civilization as we know it during World War II.

The crime’s timing makes one wonder if there was some twisted political motive to the act. Certainly anyone with enough brute strength to separate a several-hundred-pound stone monument and rip away a plaque anchored in rock could have done more damage. Maybe the crime was meant to make a statement.

If it was, it certainly doesn’t mitigate the act in any way. Someone who commits this kind of act on a monument honoring those wounded in battle is either ignorant of what it stands for or mentally ill.

The monument had been temporarily restored by Thursday. The Military Order of the Purple Heart, the national fraternal organization, has announced it will rededicate the monument.

Reconsecration will not be necessary. Throughout this nation’s history, the sacrifice of Purple Heart veterans have consecrated any tribute we can offer.

A Daily Mining Gazette editorial