Press Release – December 19
Save Southern Heritage Florida Spokesman: David McCallister 813-778-1202
TWO VETERAN MONUMENTS VANDALIZED IN FLORIDA THIS WEEK
VETERANS GROUP CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION AND ENHANCED PROTECTION OF ALL VETERAN OBSERVANCES
Tampa – In a disturbing trend of continued violence against memorials to American Veterans, two more monuments were reported vandalized last week.
In Tampa, on overnight Tuesday, vandals wrought thousands of dollars of damage on Veterans Memorial Park. The granite memorial was defaced in three places with the letters “BLM”. Additionally, three 20? flag poles were bent 90? at the base, and the flags posted were burned.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office is conducting an investigation. The total damages may be in excess of $1,000, eligible for a 3rd degree felony conviction.
In Gainesville on Tuesday, vandalism was discovered on the “Old Joe” Cenotaph to Veterans of Alachua County who served during the War Between the States. This is the second vandalisation of this Veteran Cenotaph, the first time being after a Alachua County Commission meeting prior to a vote by the Commission to move the monument from County property to appease a social justice activist that has since moved out of the area. The discovery was made after another meeting of the Commission after another activist, Faye Williams, threatened the Commission with a protest if the monument is not removed, calling it a symbol of ‘white supremacy’.
“Law enforcement has indicated to us that incident like these are related” said David McCallister, Save Southern Heritage Florida spokesman. “Disrespect of Veterans memorials is beneath deplorable” he added. “Floridians realize monuments to dead heroes should be off limits as billboards for social protest and want tougher punishment for damage to these somber, sacred Observances”, McCallister said.
Among other groups, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, has called for protection for all Veteran observances. Don Young, Commander of the Florida Division of the group said “many of our members served in America’s armed forces and don’t appreciate the disrespect this desecration shows to their service and those of their comrades”.
In the last 18 months, there have been nearly a dozen incidence of vandalism against Veterans observances including in Tampa, Pensacola, Jacksonville, Ocala and Gainesville.
An initiative has started to call for protection of Veterans Observances in Florida. More info:
Save Southern Heritage – FL
PO Box 291053
Tampa, FL 33617