Memorial Day is supposed to be a solemn weekend to remember war and those who have died. However, this weekend our spirits plunged because of something else - acts of vandalism, in which sacred ground shook from gravestones being intentionally pushed over.
It tore at our hearts to see the destructive and disrespectful abuse on the headstones of family members who deserve some peace. It was even more disturbing to learn that it was done to the Jewish section of Pine Ridge Cemetery. One of the dozen or so headstones knocked over bears a plaque that commemorates 25 members of the Ring family who were killed in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Was this the act of anti-Semites? If so, then our community has a more serious problem to be worried about than a bunch of ignorant delinquents.
We are outraged by a wave of vandalism that is sweeping Saranac Lake recently. The gravestones were the most serious crime, but there have been numerous annoyances.
Each weekend of late, the Enterprise has experienced vandalism: our vending machine ripped open, the sidewalk trash container in front of our office knocked over and the antenna on our truck bent.
This same weekend, Sunday night at about 1:30 a.m., a large concrete slab of our new retaining wall was pushed off and smashed. One of our employees, who was working at the time, ran out and witnessed two boys, apparently of high school age, fleeing. One boy was wearing a blue jersey with the number 32 and one a red jersey with the number 22. The village police officer we reported it to mentioned there was also vandalism at two other village locations, although police did not confirm that to our reporter in subsequent days.
This damage should not be tolerated. We, as well as police, must not be apathetic but do all we can to put an end to it - perhaps organize a "neighborhood watch" group for busy weekends, enforce a curfew, install motion lights and private video cameras.
Whether these are youths or adults, on drugs, drunk or just plain stupid, they need to be dealt with to change this destructive behavior.
Have you experienced vandalism? We encourage you to keep your eyes open and report any suspicious behavior to police immediately.
Tupper Lakers experienced a savage wave of vandalism a couple of years ago that culminated in some disgusting person setting fire to the wooden statue of the village's lumberjack mascot in the Municipal Park. But that wave passed - in part, we hope, because police and community members stood up to it.
Saranac Lake can put a stop to it, too, if people respond appropriately.