Legion memorial vandalized
Vandalism that occurred at the St. Paul Legion over the weekend has left members disappointed, and one local artist in a state of shock, as two large stone sculptures were set on fire sometime on Sept. 14.
The sculptures were part of a memorial park being developed on the east side of the Legion building and were moved to the site on Sept. 8.
“They are (part) of a new cenotaph dedicated to the soldiers and service personnel who have given their lives since 1953,” says Russ Whitford, project coordinator for the memorial project.
The damage has yet to be totally assessed, says Whitford, but it is possible that the sculptures are no longer suitable to exposure to the elements. The heat did damage the stones, which were still covered. The sculptures will be cleaned and re-assessed.
“It is certainly disappointing,” says Whitford, adding, the Legion is unsure of how it will move forward with the project, since it is now in a tight financial situation.
“The whole project is in question.”
Local artist Stephen Yettaw says he felt sick to his stomach when he heard of what had happened to the pieces he worked so hard on for so long.
“I was on route to put the finishing touches on the stone today when I got the call,” said Yettaw on Sunday. “Destroying this monument killed a part of me.”
He admits that the whoever is responsible for setting the fire might be unaware of what they have done.
“I am hoping they can find who did this and educate them on what they did,” says Yettaw, who is offering up a reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction.
On Monday morning, local business owner Darryl Lotoski also contacted the Journal to express his dismay over the vandalism. He too would like to add to the reward being offered in an effort to find whoever was responsible for the crime.
Cst. Tammy Protasiwich confirmed Monday morning that a vandalism at the Legion had occurred, saying the damage could total over $18,000. According to RCMP, a witness called in the fire.
The matter is under investigation and if anyone has information about the vandalism they are asked to call the detachment at (780) 645-8870 or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous.
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